New Works on Paper
Jerry Allen Gilmore with Miss Ellen Cameron
Event Type: exhibitions
Opening reception: Saturday, Feb 4, 6 – 8pm FREE
Gallery Talk: Saturday, March 4, 5pm, FREE
A recent arrival to Baltimore through the Creative Alliance’s Resident Artist program, Jerry Allen Gilmore exhibits his expressive, mixed media works with the intuitive mask drawings of Highlandtown resident and Outsider artist, Miss Ellen Cameron in the two-person exhibition New Works on Paper.
Gilmore’s intimate miniatures and sweeping, large scale drawings, prints, and collages are deceptively personal as he adopts a cast of animated characters and symbols to relate his own story. This work playfully embodies the often awkward issues that life’s every movement possesses – a humorous bend in the river, where one may be given aid by animals, magicians and shamans, or be menaced by devils, clowns and bumble bees. Characteristically all of these works are autobiographical, repurposed and retraced narratives that explore the artist’s own thoughts on identity, sexuality, spirituality, beauty and mortality. Each work draws on different chapters in the story of his life, but as with many recollections, out of their natural chronological order. For Gilmore all of these works drive home his creative mantra: where you go depends upon where you have been, and where you can go depends upon what you can imagine.
Soon after moving into his studio in July of 2016, Gilmore met community matriarch, minister, and neighborhood resident Miss Ellen Cameron – known to all as either “Miss Ellen,” or “Mother Ellen” – during a mask-making workshop at Creative Alliance; the two quickly struck up a friendship. While she has no formal training as an artist, Miss Ellen has received several Certificates of Achievement from drawing classes at MICA Place, in addition to participating in the Creative Alliance’s annual members’ exhibition, The Big Show. Her inclusion of a beaming black and gold mask prompted Gilmore to ask to see more of her work. Gilmore recalls, “I remember smiling as she turned the pages of her sketch book saying, I just draw what comes to me, and I knew exactly what she meant….Miss Ellen [is] a wonderful artist and an even better person.”
While the two artists come from different backgrounds and training, both artists’ work utilizes an instinctual embrace of expressionist tendencies, emphasizing emotion and energy above refinement and classical form in their figures and faces. Put together, Cameron’s and Gilmore’s work enter into a natural dialogue, acting out intimate stories through symbolic representation all the while responding to the neighborhood that surrounds them both.
New Works on Paper is Miss Ellen’s first major exhibition, and Jerry Allen Gilmore’s first major exhibition in Baltimore. As a special highlight to the exhibition, Jerry Allen Gilmore will offer a free Drawing and Monotype Workshop for youth on Saturday, January 25th where young artists learn how to turn a pet-themed drawing into a monotype by tracing with water based print paint on acrylic clear sheet. Printing opportunities are first come, first serve for the first 30 people who register in advance – all participants will be able to make drawings.
JERRY ALLEN GILMORE
Born in Pendleton, Oregon, Jerry Allen Gilmore earned a BFA in fiber and painting, a minor in both art history and creative writing/poetry from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, and an MFA in painting and drawing from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Over the past thirty years, Gilmore has built a unique and impressive career as both an artist and arts administrator, including a combined seventeen years in Directorial and Curatorial practice at MARS Art-space in Phoenix, Arizona, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Colorado University Art Museum and Galleries at University of Colorado-Boulder, and as the Visual Arts Director / Curator at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, Colorado. Gilmore has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, New Zealand, Peru, and Mexico, with three major exhibitions scheduled in 2017 in Oklahoma, Minnesota, and here at Creative Alliance. His work is also in the collections of the Nordstrom Corporation, the Tucson Museum of Art, the Arizona State University Art Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and in numerous private collections throughout the U.S. Upon relocation to Saint Paul, Minnesota, and now Baltimore, Gilmore continues his curatorial projects, artist portfolio reviews, jurying for both regional and national art institutions, and continually discovering his own personal artwork and writings.
MISS ELLEN CAMERON
Ellen Cameron was born in Baltimore and raised in Boston, Massachusetts where she worked for years as a Dispatcher at the First National Bank. While in Boston, she also studied at the Gordon Conwell Ministerial College from 1981 – 1982; and she was ordained as a minister there in 1982. She worked as a home health Aide in Nursing from 1988 – 1994, and from 1996 – 1997 she served as a volunteer Field Service Leader at the non-profit organization Magic Me, working with elementary and high school age students. She has served as a leader and Block Captain of the 900 block of Chester and Duncan streets respectively. Additionally she has given her time to work with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Afro American City Homes, Inc., and the Coalition of Leaders, all here in Baltimore. From early on in her life through the present day she invests deeply in her community by remaining active with the ongoing ministries at First Church. She is a powerful preacher and noted evangelist, in addition to being a gifted singer, poet, playwright, actress, and now, visual artist. Mother Ellen Cameron is the proud mother of 3 children, and several grand children.
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