Baltimore’s fine arts community opens its doors this weekend to show the public how and where art is being made in the city.
Tag: School 33
Don Palmer — a former music critic for The Village Voice, a retired government employee, and a recent Baltimore transplant — had some misgivings about helping his artist houseguest with certain of her intimate items in their laundry it was his turn to wash. So he contacted his wife, Beth Fredrick, who was in Ghana for work, and told her about his predicament.
Michelle Dickson, 27, a resident artist at School 33, sculpts work that seems to live — to wear breathing skin — or, in some cases, promises to have recently pulsed with life, but now instead to hum with the hushed and faded rhythm of decay. In her attraction to nature’s dying moment, and to the partway beautiful deterioration of changing human architecture, she reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Kiki Smith, whom Dickson did meet in an academic setting. (She reminds me of Kiki Smith in her semi-sexual, body-hinting abstractions — in many ways…) But Dickson is her own maker to be sure, with her own brand of broken beauty, her own set of challenges and charms for the viewer. Her work lives.
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.
For ticket information and to view the artwork online, visit school33.org.