Voices- Redeemer Speaker Series: Baltimore Portrait: Artists in Conversation
March 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Born in Columbus, Georgia and now based in Baltimore, Amy Sherald is best known for her portrait paintings of figures who both reflect and see beyond their everyday circumstances. Her work addresses social justice and the construction of individual identity in response to, or outside of, political and cultural expectations. In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition grand prize, and in 2017 she was commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to paint the official portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama.
Originally from Charleston, Stephen Towns is a mixed-media artist and muralist now based in Baltimore. Towns draws much of his visual inspiration from Medieval altarpieces, impressionist paintings, and wax cloth prints. He says, “my work is in response to the issues that have plagued African-American culture–loss of ancestral roots, slavery, class, education, skin tone and religion. The portraits I create are not only glimpses of the sitters; they are also a reflection of myself and mirror my struggle to attain a sense of self-knowledge, self-worth and spirituality.” Towns’ portraits invite and confront the viewer at once. “They won’t let me go,” said one.
“I’m asked a lot about why I came to Baltimore, why this job, and why now,” says Chris Bedford, Director, Baltimore Museum of Art . “When I was going through the recruitment process, I asked the chair of the search committee, ‘What do you want to say to Baltimore through art?’ Usually, when I ask something like this, nothing follows in response. But in this case, the board chair said, ‘I want the BMA to be the most dynamic, socially engaged museum in the U.S.’ . . . There’s a real willingness on the part of the museum to pursue that course, and on the other hand, an incredible appetite among you all for change on that scale.”
Click here to sign-up for supper at 6:00 p.m. for $10 per person. There is no cost and no sign-up to attend the lecture only.
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