In a nondescript two-story building in North Baltimore’s Homeland neighborhood, two professional illustrators are busily building – literally, cutting pieces of a door frame and drywall – for a new classroom. When they’ve finished construction, their long space will be divided into classrooms A and B.
Artist and MICA prof Susan Waters-Eller thinks, talks, and walks hummingbird fast, but she may spend quiet month upon month making a single drawing. A drawing designed to rejigger your perception in a matter of seconds.
A close friend of mine, Susan has always viewed the world her renegade way, taking cues from other greats who create and share their own provocative ways of seeing life on planet earth. When she was a teen, she trained herself to become mesmerized by a poster on her wall of an involved image by French surrealist painter Yves Tanguy.
“What attracted me [to Tanguy’s piece] was how solidly realistic the scene felt while having nothing recognizable in it,” Susan says. “It seemed to hold an essence true of many adolescents, of seeing everything clearly and it making no sense.”
We last checked in with Jowita Wyszomirska, one of Baltimore Fishbowl’s first resident artists, in January when she presented her show “Tenuous Connection” at MICA’s Temporary Gallery on North Avenue—a series of window-set installations depicting surreal sculptural scenes that simultaneously suggested vintage science textbook illustrations and furry, floral, Dr.-Suessian impossibility. The event’s well attended opening occurred on a chilly night, despite the art’s placement demanding an (extremely brisk) exterior vantage point. This sizzling July weekend, catch Jowita’s newest cool show, “Geographies,” this time indoors at School 33, where she also houses her studio. The reception happens Saturday from 3 to 6, and runs till August 18. I asked Jowita to tell readers a bit about her high-concept process of drawing, painting, and building, in anticipation of the visually exhilarating next reveal.
How does this show represent a departure from your last show at MICA, and what is the main connective link?
Experience of a place is in some way always a departure point in my work. Thinking about location as a whole, our relationship to place, experience of it, shifts and changes we cause to the landscape, I use visual aspects from my immediate landscape or surrounding architecture (of a place I know or I have been to) as sources for my drawings.
When I started this new series of work, I had couple of formal tasks that I wanted to accomplish and that pushed me to do some “experiments” with new materials (I like to go to hardware stores and just browse until I see something that has a potential for me).
What was the most challenging aspect?
I am very compelled to make site-specific work. Usually how that works for me is that I intend to follow a loose plan that I have formulated ahead of time. This way I can do some prep work leading up to the show. It is always a push and pull process though. Once I am in the space working, I always come across surprises (that are of my own making). This happened this time as well: I was planning on make my “Buoyant” installation (seen above) completely with 3-D components that I made ahead of time, but instead it turned out to be a whole lot of painting. I love the challenge of not having things figured out, but at the same time it makes my installation process tense and hectic.
Sponsored Post – Mark your calendar with a capital A for art: Wednesday evening, June 29th, from 6 to 8, Young Blood, Maryland Art Place’s annual MFA grad show—one of the organization’s most popular events, now in its fourth year—features painting, sculpture, video, drawing, and interactive performance by recent grads with talent to burn. We are so there.
Curated by the MAP Program Advisory Committee, which is chaired by artist, writer, and teacher Cara Ober, the exhibition provides recent MFA grads an opportunity to make connections with other artists and arts professionals, and to nurture their early artistic careers.
“After achieving their master’s, the next most important step for young artists is their professional debut in a reputable professional gallery,” Ober says.
Engaging event meanwhile provides you, gallery-goer, the opportunity to tour and purchase new art by gifted young people of powerful creative vision, their names not currently household, but we’d wager might well soon be. Show will include emerging artists from the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Maryland at College Park, Towson University, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
We can’t wait to check out work by Amy Boone-McCreesh, who earned her MFA in painting from Towson—Amy builds ultra-abundant, confetti-colorful installations from found objects, secondhand fabrics, and celebratory ephemera. All artists convey unique themes. Wun Ting Wendy Tai, a new MFA from MICA’s Rinehart School of Sculpture, is a mixed-media artist whose work references post-colonialism and multiculturalism—she “attempts to address the effects of cultural and social hybridity in a poetic and ephemeral manner.” Jill Fannon, armed with an MFA in imaging and digital art from UMBC, creates her bold images with the aid of new technology. MICA grad Adam Junior, a sculptor from Long Island, says he’s preoccupied with building structures that are at once contained and impenetrable alongside those that are vulnerable and codependent. We definitely dig his piece, “Nowhere Else to Go,” which assembles numerous small white houses that seem at once ready to house a human family or a searching flock of birds. Linling Lu (MFA, MICA Hoffberger School of Painting) recently completed a series of paintings, which allow her to “embrace the beauty in various chances [or nuanced moments] of solitary mediation.” Her gentle works likewise beckon the viewer to a most meditative place.
“MAP is very excited about the fourth installment of Young Blood,” says Sofia Rutka, MAP program manager. “The nine artists in this year’s exhibition were selected based on the strength of their work, exemplary of the recent MFA graduates in the Baltimore area.”
So, see you there Wednesday, June 29, 6-8, for opening reception and artist talks. Show runs until August 27.
Maryland Art Place
Power Plant Live!
8 Market Place, Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21202
Established in 1981, MAP inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community.
For more information: [email protected]