Baltimore has an impressive way of preserving and finding new uses for many of its historic mills, museums, churches and industrial structures. This weekend offers a chance for city residents and visitors to learn about the rich history and attention to detail underlying many of those buildings.
The beach is great–except for all the sand, sunburns, and shark attacks. You risk none of those things if you instead take the MARC train to DC to visit the National Building Museum‘s “beach” this summer. That’s because the ocean in question is actually made of 1 million clear plastic balls–you know, like the ball pits that little kids play in, except way more adult, and way huger. Seriously: it’s so deep that you can’t even touch the bottom.
It’s a good thing February easily lends itself to the awesome pun, “Absolutley Febulous.” Because these days, it’s hard for us to see exactly what else there is to love about this cold, cold month. But luckily, Absolutely Febulous is actually as great of a concept as it is a pun. It basically takes the most winter doldrums month of all and turns it on its head, to fill February with amazing deals on food, entertainment, and of course, all of our favorite museums. Is there an exhibition up that you’ve been meaning to see but just haven’t been able to find the time? Been feeling like it’s too cold for much other than slippers and cocoa? Absolutely Febulous has enough Buy-One-Get-One admission offers to local museums that you may just rethink your stay-in-bed-til-April plans.
At 26, many young adults are just starting to figure out what they want to do with their lives, or at least how the heck they’re going to support themselves. Then there’s Deana Haggag. In June of 2013, the 26-year-old was appointed director of the newly named and recently re-opened Contemporary. The former Contemporary Museum had suspended operations in May of 2012 after failing to raise funds for a new location. A newly minted graduate of MICA’s master’s degree program in curatorial studies, Haggag stepped up to head the museum, which is now nomadic. Sans a brick and mortar location, it will focus on presenting experiential art throughout the Baltimore community via collaborative programming with a variety of artists. In other words, it’s up to Haggag to steer this anchor-less ship in a fiscally responsible manner while delivering contemporary art experiences that will attract and energize audiences. Recently, I caught up with Haggag to find out how this bright, witty twenty-something plans to execute such a lofty plan.
You were an art history and philosophy major at Rutgers before pursuing your MFA at MICA in curatorial studies. Are you a practicing artist, a champion and appreciator of art, or both?
I am definitely not a practicing artist. I can barely write my name legibly. I happen to love the arts. I love defending the arts. When I applied to art school, I also applied to law school. Art school was a pipe dream. People told me lawyers aren’t getting jobs, there are too many lawyers, so you may as well do something you love.
As part of your master’s degree thesis, you worked with Gallery CA, a 90-unit artist residence in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, to better define the mission of the gallery for its residents and the broader community. Elaborate on that a little, and explain how that experience prepared you for this position.
City Arts is the building where Gallery-CA lives; it’s one of the first models of subsidized housing for artists. When the gallery was built, it didn’t have a solid plan for how it would work. When I went to school at MICA to study curatorial arts, someone had pitched activating the space. I worked closely with the building’s owners, and the larger Baltimore arts community, toward this goal.
This spring, a group of high school students from Notre Dame Prep found themselves in possession of a 3700-year old Egyptian magic wand. No, this isn’t the plot of a supernatural young adult thriller; it’s Adopt an Object, the inventive new fundraising strategy dreamed up by the ambitious team at Johns Hopkins’ newly re-opened Archaeological Museum. Ever wanted your very own Grecian urn? Here’s your chance.
In Hydroflow, a new art exhibit at Goucher College, 10 artists present works that explore the multifaceted aspects of water. Artists Christian Benefiel, Sukey Bryan, Mike Calway-Fagen, Eric Dyer, Matthew Fisher, Allyn Massey, Lisa Moren, Matthew Northridge, Calla Thompson, and Elena Volkova use paint, photo, video, sculpture, and installation for their interpretations.
From the Baltimore Fishbowl events page…
Constellation Thursday Nights
We know. The words, “Museum of Industry” don’t exactly scream funnest day ever. Maybe the museum needs a name-make-over? On the other hand, the Baltimore Museum of Industry really is just that—a museum about the rise and history of local industry—something our city has a lot to say about. And perhaps because there is so much history and richness there, it really is a great museum. It’s surprisingly fun for kids (as any attendee of the Baltimore City schools can tell you), and legitimately interesting for adults. The pictures and exhibits help visitors picture Baltimore as it was not-too-long ago, and put themselves in the shoes of those who worked in the mills and factories that shaped the town we call home today. Plus, Halloween is around the corner and the current special exhibition is about the Baltimore-manufactured (well, until 1966) Ouija Board. We’re calling that a coincidence to spooky to ignore. For one more week, as a part of Free Fall Baltimore, the museum is offering free admission on Sundays—a great opportunity to check out this local gem.
For information about hours, location, and exhibits, visit www.thebmi.org