Loading Events

Walk On By: Baltimore-Rotterdam Exhibition & Artist Exchange

Presented By Creative Alliance, TENT Rotterdam, and Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee

September 27 - November 30 in the Main Gallery

Free for everyone

Galleries are free to the public.

Exhibition Opening: FRI SEP 27 | 6-9PM
On View: FRI SEP 27 – SAT  NOV 30

TENT | Rotterdam, The Netherlands 
Exhibition Opening: FRI MAR 21, 2025
Exhibition Opening: FRI MAR 21 – SUN JUN 8, 2025

Creative Alliance, TENT Rotterdam, and Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee, present Walk On By: an exhibition and a cultural exchange that connects Black artists, their diverse experiences, and artwork, across the Atlantic. Explore the Black Atlantic through the diverse stories of local artists in the historical port cities of Baltimore and Rotterdam, through exhibitions in both countries and an exchange program.

Featuring works by Schaun Champion (Baltimore), Charles Mason III (Baltimore), Naomi King (Rotterdam), kolpeace (Baltimore), Djon Seedorf (Rotterdam), and Tarona (Rotterdam).

Curated by Joy Davis, Visual Arts Director at Creative Alliance and founder of Waller Gallery.

The exhibition and artists exchange Walk On By explores the African diaspora in two historic industrial port cities, Baltimore and Rotterdam, through the many-layered and diverse stories that local artists can tell. In collaboration with Creative Alliance (Baltimore) and TENT (Rotterdam), Baltimore-based curator Joy Davis bridges conversations between different Black diasporic communities and art practices within their expansive mediums. The Walk On By exhibition and cultural exchange is in response to the Dionne Warwick song of the same name that parallels the necessity to commune and communicate with one’s community. 

Walk On By begins its journey this September in Baltimore at Creative Alliance, and then travels to Rotterdam in the spring of 2025. Participating artists travel to each city during the exhibitions to experience the culture, engage with the community and artists, and create lasting connections across the Atlantic.

Walk On By explores the similarities between Baltimore & Rotterdam and the cities’ relationships with Black community members and artists. The project provides a unique opportunity for African American and Afro Dutch artists to travel abroad, build international networks, gain international exposure, and benefit from professional development opportunities. The organizations involved hope to build a deeper level of connection that can then be extended long beyond the project. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarized and hate-filled, we believe that in-person, cross-cultural exchanges like Walk On By help foster empathy and understanding.



Joy Davis is a curator, cultural worker, and director based in Baltimore, MD. She has conducted relevant work in New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore for over 8 years. At the core of her work, she believes it is foundational to set standards in the Baltimore area for community relations and celebrate artistic practices. It is important to her to make artists feel they have a platform to be themselves and explore their practices. In 2018, Joy conceived and created Waller Gallery to support artists in Baltimore and beyond. Through Waller, Joy built her curatorial experience and fluency in the art community. For over 5 years her work with artists of color is paramount to creating an equitable gateway for artists to thrive and drive the art world.

In 2021, Joy joined Creative Alliance as the Visual Arts Director overseeing two gallery spaces and their anchor resident artist program. Working in two neighborhoods in Baltimore City, she has a unique opportunity to have a broader impact on the artist communities she serves.


Tarona (Rotterdam) 
Tarona is an artist and director based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She has dedicated her career to exploring the complexities of identity and in creating a space for the Black diaspora to cultivate a new way of knowing and being. Tarona’s images capture the craftsmanship of Caribbean and Latin-American carnival costumes, which brings to light an entire community that is very much present but often relegated to the background; they are hiding in plain sight. The carnival’s appearance can be deceiving, as it contains hidden ideas, philosophies, and symbols that speak to the collective identity and history of Caribbean and Latin-American communities, especially in Eurocentric environments with a colonial past. 

Naomi King  (Rotterdam)
Naomi King stands out for her ability to translate her inspiration from fantasy and rich colors into captivating mural works. What sets her apart is her strong community focus, actively involving the community in her mural projects and initiatives in the Netherlands and Curacao. Her experience as a DJ and muralist for over ten years has made her a valuable contributor to the arts community in the Netherlands. Her influences range from art nouveau to ’80s cartoons and mix in a remarkably dynamic style full of splashing color. Naomi is an all-round illustrator, making both animations and street art pieces.

Djon Seedorf  (Rotterdam) 
Djon Seedorf is a visual artist, fashion designer and art teacher with a long career in education. Djon is the son of a Surinamese father and a Javanese mother. His parents met in the former Dutch East Indies, where Seedorf’s father served in the Dutch East Indies Army. “I want to show in a connecting, adventurous way what I have experienced from my own historical perspective in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands. And with this multicultural treasure I hope to create works of art in my own visual language.” Djon currently guides and inspires young students on their own path towards art. 

Schaun Champion (Baltimore)
Schaun Champion is an artist-photographer, director of photography and instructor specializing in natural light, portraiture, fine art and cultural documentary/archival work. Using both digital and analog cameras, she creates intentionally cinematic and honest imagery. Inspired by classic films, music and all things vintage; her intention is to use themes of nature, diversity and nostalgia to illustrate the drama within the familiar.

Charles Mason III (Baltimore)
Charles Mason III is an abstract painter who asks how blackness can be experienced abstractly through installation and materials. Mason leverages symbolic content—such as the color black, hidden text, and repeated pictorial motifs like flowers and bricks—to create interpretive aesthetic spaces that address grief, mourning, and morbidity. While creating his work, internally he may be responding to specific contemporary events and narratives that relate to his experience moving through the world as a Black person. Meanwhile, his choice to deploy abstraction as an aesthetic strategy creates a space of freedom from such narratives, both for himself as an artist and for the viewers.

kolpeace (Baltimore)
Artist Christopher “kolpeace” Johnson explores his black southern culture & ancestral characters through liberating portraits while rapidly creating & specializing in contemporary art, public art, community art, and performance art. His work is intended to instigate the narrative of taking the art off the gallery walls and to the people by engagement mixing graffiti techniques with contemporary art tools. “kolpeace” (which stands for Kids Only Love Peace) presents a black identified folktale that paints from his influential past/present/future, in hopes to create moments of betterment towards humanity. He uses childhood genres of his black cultural folk life (such as trill, trap, and soul music) to encourage and liberate cultural prejudice.


Creative Alliance builds communities by bringing together artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds to experience arts and education programs and engage in the creative process.

TENT is a platform for contemporary art in Rotterdam, which develops programs that move with the city. Exhibitions, debates, performances, guest programming and more. Dynamic and creative as the cultural resources of the city. TENT is part of CBK Rotterdam.

Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee promotes cooperation, mutual understanding, and friendship between the citizens of Baltimore in Maryland, U.S.A. and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Walk On By Funders

This exhibition is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Terra Foundation for American Art, established in 1978 and having offices in Chicago and Paris, supports organizations and individuals locally and globally with the aim of fostering intercultural dialogues and encouraging transformative practices that expand narratives of American art, through the foundation’s grant program, collection, and initiatives. This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. The Walk On By artists exchange was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Embassy The Hague. The opinions, findings and conclusions in this exchange do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Embassy The Hague or United States Department of State. This project has received funding through a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation. This project is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Related Events

View All Related Events