Category Archives: Art Openings

Warhol: The Last Decade @ the BMA Today

Could it be true? Could it possibly, actually have happened? Have we finally found a place to go on Sundays where no one is wearing purple, drinking Miller Lite and yelling ‘Caw Caw’?

Yes, it’s true. While the rest of Baltimore is watching the Ravens and Patriots (and no doubt continuing to curse the Steelers), we’re going to head over to the Baltimore Museum of Art to see the new exhibit on that most famous of Yinzers, Andy Warhol.

10/17/10 - 1/09/11

The BMA’s website has a pretty good write up on the exhibition itself, so we’ll spare you the details, and say only that it opens to the general public today, running through January 9. While general museum admission is free, this traveling exhibit will run you $15 unless you’re a member, and at a mere $50 a year for an individual membership it’s a pretty tempting offer.

So while the rest of the city is hoping that Ray Lewis can successfully decapitate Tom Brady, we’ll be walking through Wyman Park, watching the leaves change, and probably, for personal reasons having to do with Warhol and the BMA, feeling very melancholy and nostalgic about love affairs and the Fall. We might even wear a tie.

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The BMA is at 10 Art Museum Drive in Charles Village.

Wednesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

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The New York Times Dumps on Baltimore Again, But Local Artists Are Too Busy Making Art to Notice

The Baltimore Chop was none too thrilled on Wednesday when we read on the Midnight Sun that the New York Times is looking down its nose at us again. They seem to see Baltimore as little more than a source for so-so regional cuisine, a great inspiration for campy Broadway musicals, and a crummy baseball team for the sweeping.

This time around they’re making us out to be a bungling, artless money-pit who is stuck in the Schmoke era and wants to copy Manhattan. We really, really wish the Times would mind their own fucking business a little more, and publish these cheap, quickie drive-by stories about Baltimore a little less.

The truth is that there’s already more creativity going on in Baltimore than the Chop can possibly keep up with. We saw an outstanding opening last night, and we’re torn between two events that deserve our full attention tonight.

Cezanne and American Modernism closes at the BMA tonight. 7-10:30 pm.

First up, Run of the Mill Theater is opening Variations on Beauty tonight in the BBOX space in MICA‘s Gateway Building. The Variations series is an ongoing project for which playwrights assemble and collaborate on various themes, with each crafting a play on the central idea. Tonight’s opening show focuses on Beauty and features eight world premieres by local writers, as well as a chance for the audience to decide on the next theme. Variations only runs 8 performances, and closes May 30 so get your tickets now.

We might have to catch a weekday performance though, because we’re probably going to keep it close to home and head over to the closing party for Cezanne and American Modernism at the BMA.

(Despite the BMA’s website, it looks like the New York Times also poo-pooed this exhibition when it opened in New Jersey.)

We’ve been meaning to get over and see this show since it opened, and for once it looks like our procrastination has paid off. The museum is keeping late hours tonight (until 10:30), and $5 for non-members is a bargain to get dressed up fancy, see the paintings, get access to the snack table and a cash bar too. Not to mention DJ’s and soundscape artists performing live.

Innovate Love auctions art at Silo Point tomorrow. 7-11 pm.

While we’re high on our visual arts horse, we’re also going to mention tomorrow’s Innovate Love art auction at Silo Point. Innovate Love is a joint benefit for Innovate Baltimore and the Baltimore Love Project; worthy causes both. We probably won’t make it out to this because tomorrow is a crazy busy night in Baltimore, but we really wish we could. We haven’t been to Silo Point yet, although we almost went to the last auction they had there. This one’s in the penthouse, so it’s likely to be pretty swank. Then again, Super Art Fight is bound to make sure it doesn’t get too stuffy in there.

We’re still looking to fill our walls up with art, but alas, Big Daddy Barack hasn’t made with our tax refund deposit yet, so an art auction is a temptation we can’t afford at the moment. Just as well. We can always spend Six Dollars! for the Sunday New York Times so they can tell us how crummy and provincial it was.

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MICA’s Gateway Building is at 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave in Bolton Hill.

The BMA is at 10 Art Museum Dr. in Charles Village.

Silo Point is at 1200 Steuart St. in Locust point.

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Baltimore Portrait: New Drawings by Erin Fitzpatrick @ UB Tonight

If there’s one activity that Baltimore likes to engage in collectively, it’s looking at itself in the proverbial mirror. It’s part of the reason we love the films of John Waters so much. It’s why we think The Wire was such a wonderful show, and it’s even why we went to go see Naked Baltimore when it opened at the Metro Gallery.

This ongoing game of monkey in the mirror is also part of the reason we’re so excited about the opening of Erin Fitzpatrick‘s Baltimore Portrait series at the University of Baltimore’s Student Center tonight.

Baltimore Portrait opens at the University of Baltimore Student Center tonight. 7-9 pm (Show is on 5th floor, not 3rd).

The current installation of the Baltimore Portrait series includes 20 new local faces, selected from a total of 75 and counting, with more than half of the series completed recently. Portraits from the series have been on display since November ’09, most recently at the Theater Project’s John Fonda Gallery.

But don’t take our word for it. Erin was kind enough to answer a few quick questions for us in advance of tonight’s show. It’s the first time this blog has undertaken to do an interview, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Let’s begin, shall we?

Megan Fitzpatrick

The Baltimore Chop:

    Your portrait series focuses on a collection of people from a specific place. What connections or effects have you observed between people and the places they live and vice versa?

Erin Fitzpatrick: “So far, almost all of my subjects have been Baltimore-based. Some have transplanted, but they are all people who I met here. I have plans to start some new pieces based on subjects in L.A. this summer. Maybe then I’ll be able to get a better perspective on how the portraits differ with location.

For me, working within the parameter of a certain city is about meeting, and capturing on paper or canvas, all of the interesting people that live within that area. It’s like visual networking.”

Chop:

    In addition to being a working artist you’re also a proficient blogger, focusing on your portrait series as well as other more general topics like fashion and Baltimore life. What made you want to start blogging and what’s kept you going?

Fitz: “I originally started Fitzbomb as an easy way to show my art on line. I got a few hits from people I knew and through random searches. Then I started thinking about what people want to see (themselves and other people out and looking good) and how I could tie that in to my art. I started carrying a camera around and shooting nightlife (especially when I could capture people who I have drawn/painted.) This approach immediately expanded my viewing audience.”

Elena Johnston

Chop:

    How has the Fitzbomb blog complemented or helped with the portraits’ creative process since it’s inception?

Fitz:
“The main way that Fitzbomb has helped my portrait project is through exposure. The next stage in my plan is to make the portrait project and the blog more cohesive.

While I’m sure that I will still photograph/post a lot of social events, I really want to get into documenting my subjects. Like, this is Erin, this is where she lives/works/hangs out, here are some interview questions that tell you what she does, and then the whole thing culminates in my final portrait. I want Fitzbomb to primarily be a place to exhibit my subjects both as portraits and as people (thus actually living up to the blog’s tag line. Ha.)”

Chop:

    All of the portraits in this series are very similar in composition, with a lot of negative space at the top. Do you feel a similar look helps to highlight the differences and details in your subjects?

Fitz: “I compose my pieces with a lot of negative space to draw the viewer in to each individual portrait. So, yes, you got it.

I’ve been thinking about doing some paintings in the near future that have more than one person in them, but I would keep the same space around each figure. I think it would create interesting tensions and make the viewer look at the individuals, but wonder about the relationships.”

Jenny Andrzejewski

Chop:

    Thanks so much! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Fitz: “Nope. You asked good questions. I got to talk about the ideas that I’ve been planning in my head while drawing the pieces for my up-coming show. Also, I’m always thinking about individuals and groups who I could draw, so if you have any good ideas for me…”

If you’ve got any good ideas for Erin, you can let her know at tonight’s opening, or at www.fitzbomb.com. The current installation of Baltimore Portrait opens tonight with a reception from 7- 9 pm in the Hilda and Michael Bogomolny Room on the 5th floor, and will remain on view until August 27th in the 5th Floor Gallery.

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UB’s Student Center is at 21 W. Mount Royal Ave in Mount Vernon. See their website for gallery hours and additional information.

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100 Heads for Haiti Opens @ SPUR Gallery Tonight

Well, the Chop has been miserably sick with common cold this week, and as much as we wish it were so, all that Jim Beam and Ginger we drank at Opening Day yesterday is not exactly a curative elixir. So we’re going to be brief today.

We’d like to tell you about all the very cool stuff that’s going on in town tonight. If we could we’d be five places at once. We’ll have to settle for telling you where we’re actually going though, which is the 100 Heads for Haiti opening at SPUR Gallery.

100 Heads for Haiti opens tonight at Spur Gallery (which looks vaguely Hatian, but is actually in Hampden, Hon.) 6 pm - 8:30 pm.

100 heads is an idea so simple it’s brilliant. 100 artists have donated work on the theme of Heads, which will all be priced at $100. After they’ve all sold, SPUR will donate $10,000 to Doctors Without Borders, who are doing a lot of the heavy lifting down in Haiti.

There is also a group poster of the heads, with prints available for a $50 donation.

Since it’s for charity and all, the Chop might just fuck around and hit our two-piece-per-customer limit. We’ve heard from an inside source that some of these heads are jaw-dropping pieces of art, and at that price, we’ll jump at the chance to get some more work on our walls. Even Juxtapoz is giving the show some love.

After the show we’re heading downtown to a mustache themed party we were invited to. The Chop has been letting the beard grow all week, and Saturday afternoon we’ll mow it all down and rock a sweet ‘stache, which will in turn me mown down Sunday morning (Sorry, ladies.)

We’ve got very mixed feelings about such ironically themed parties. Most of us thinks that irony is dumb and you should outgrow it at about 23. Then another part of us says ‘Who the fuck are you too cool for? Your friend was nice enough to invite you so get the fuck over yourself, grow a mustache, go drink beer with your friends and have fun!’ So you can see the dilemma. The Chop skipped the Jortz party, which was definitely a theme too far. But we’re rocking a ‘stache tonight.

Laugh if you will.

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Spur Design’s gallery is at 3504 Ash Street in Hampden. Exhibition opens tonight from 6- 8:30 pm. For more info: info@supurdesign.com or
410.235.7803

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First Fridays @ the Walters Tonight

Got a calendar Baltimore? You need one nowadays to keep track of all the First Fridays and Second Saturdays and Third Thursdays they’ve been throwing at us lately. Of course, if you have a calendar, you’ve probably noticed that it’s Spring. Like for real. So it’s the perfect time to check out the First Fridays event at the Walters tonight.

The Walters is open for First Fridays tonight. 5:30-8:30 pm.

They’re doing a whole near-east, silk road type theme for tonight, which (presumably) includes the Islamic Manuscripts Collection. They’re serving “Persian Punch” anyway, which is kind of funny since, you know, Muslims are forbidden to drink and all.

Seems to us this First Fridays was a whole big thing in Mount Vernon, before the long hard winter struck. But we might be thinking of something else, since like we said, we can’t keep track. We don’t know if 1stFri extends neighborhood wide tonight, but either way a fine spring Friday happy hour is the perfect time to amble around Mount Vernon. 1stFri or no, we predict that the streets will be humming, the weather will be glorious, and everyone will be festive.

It’s times like this where you really get the best of what Baltimore has to offer. If we haven’t said it before, we really love living here.

Once the sun goes down we might head up to the Ottobar for Fiery Furnaces. Or we might skip the hipster overload and sit out on the deck with a bottle of wine. Either way it’s a great start to the weekend.

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Pigment Opening at Gallery 788 Tonight

April Fool’s Day. Another one of our least favorite holidays. Fair warning: if anyone tries to play a joke on the Chop, we’re going to start punching cocks. It will be your own fault if your cock gets punched.

Don’t get us wrong. We love jokes. We even love jokes on us any other day of the year. But this April Fool’s shite is kind of like the Tooth Fairy… you should have outgrown it by the time you hit middle school.

So we’re going to give it to you straight… there’s not much doing tonight. Fortunately, Gutter Daily tipped us off to this tattoo themed group show opening at Gallery 788. Shit is no joke.

Pigment show opens tonight at Galley 788. 6-10 pm.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen any tattoo themed art, and it’s been even longer since we had anything to do with Pigtown. Washington Village might as well be over the Berlin Wall, as far as we can tell. In fact, it’s doubtful we’ve been there socially since the days of the Virgin House. Which was a long, long, long time ago.

The Chop actually did consider Pigtown when we were house-hunting last Summer. It’s an up-and-coming, artsy neighborhood, you know. Problem is, when we put our boots on the ground, we saw mostly all the same junkies and alcoholics hanging on the corners that we remembered from 15 years ago. It’s one of those spots that’s always up-and-coming but never actually coming up.

We wish all the best to 788 though, and we’re excited to see what’s up. If they keep curating and installing stuff like this, maybe they can finally tempt the rest of us over the Berlin Wall once in a while.

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Secret Mountains, Hop Along @ Hexagon Tonight

It’s Friday Baltimore. Ease up a little. You’ve been busting ass and running yourself ragged all week… don’t think we haven’t noticed. So tonight it’s all about taking it easy. Slow and Low, that’s the word today.

And we’re in luck again, cause after you hit that post-work happy hour and nosh on something spring-timey and delicious, there’s really no better way to decompress that with Baltimore’s own Secret Mountains, playing at the Hexagon tonight.

Secret Mountains play the Hexagon w/ Hop Along tonight. 9 pm.

Aural States says that SM’s Kaddish EP is “nothing short of breathtaking.” We say that quiet is the new hard, and these guys sound like Mazzy Star. Don’t get us wrong though: what we mean to say is that they are as good as Mazzy Star. In our book, that’s no faint praise.

They’re supported on this bill by Philly’s Hop Along, which you may also know as Hop Along Queen Ansleis. They’ve played Baltimore plenty before, but we haven’t heard much from them recently. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you really should. Rounding out the bill is Dangerous Ponies and Lithuania.

The show tonight is BYOB, so we’ll probably strap on our trusty steel flask, which we get a lot more use out of than we thought we would when we bought it. We’re also planning to stop by the Windup Space beforehand and have a few cocktails while we check out their visual exhibit, Coupling: Selections from the Baker Artist Awards, which just opened on Wednesday.

Our walls in the new house are still entirely bare, and now that Value City finally got around to delivering the new bedroom furniture (half-assed customer service, to be sure, but the room is strictly big-pimpin’), we have an idea of exactly what we’ll need for that room, canvas-wise. If the work is up to snuff, we might even break out our checkbook.

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