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Melissa Hyatt Foss is a musician, instrument-maker, and composer hailing from Maryland and Vermont. After receiving her BA in Art History at James Madison University she relocated to Argentina where she studied and developed her career as a performer, researcher, and teaching artist for over a decade. She completed her Master’s degree in Musical Creation, New Technologies and Traditional Arts at the National University of Argentina, specializing in the recreation of ancient sound artifacts of the Americas and electroacoustic composition. For seven years, she was a soloist with the Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technologies, performing in Argentina and touring abroad in Europe and Central America.
Melissa has cultivated an interdisciplinary practice that takes shape in sound sculptures, musical instruments, and organic electronica. Her work is a multifaceted contemplation of the beauty of our human heritage, the wisdom of our ancestors, and a search for their place in our world today. Her composition “Hanblecheyapi,” which was composed using a collection of her own hand-built instruments from the three Americas, was one of the International Rostrum of Composers’ 12 recommended works in 2018 and has since been broadcast by the BBC and other radio programs in Finland, Portugal, and Austria among others.
Anna Divinagracia is a Philippines-born Baltimore-based photographer and creative director. Divinagracia transforms her shared experiences from both Baltimore and Filipino culture into intimate presentations of reality through her lens. She creates a personal nostalgic narrative that explores themes of love, tenderness, family, and home that challenges issues of acculturation and identity as an immigrant.
Divinagracia holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the illustrious Morgan State University.
Lendl Tellington is a versatile storyteller working across film, photography, journalism, and experiential art. His practice centers on the subversion of aesthetic traditions to more accurately depict the nuance in our experiences. He hones in on the seemingly humdrum existence behind popular history and our contemporary moment and contextualizes the contributions of marginalized communities. When he’s not behind the camera, Lendl is the Technical Director of the Blackstar Film Festival.Email Lendl
Christopher Johnson, MFA, southernly known as KOLPEACE, is an artist, South Carolina made. His practice intersects Studio Painting; Live Performative Soul Painting; Murals; Community Artist workshops with youth, adults, and elders; and Video & Photo documentation that incorporates his southern style of (trill, trap, and soul) performance art. In attempt to protect and encourage the culture of Black peace, he grew to love and spread through portraiture. KOLPEACE (Kids Only Love Peace) is a key to teaching education, stories, and encouragement through painting. Incorporating music, artistic tools and unique tools to produce art in the matter of minutes in front of multiple backgrounds of audiences & community. His murals and studio works tap into his cultural upbringing with visual influential people in his life, while experimenting with media in efforts to spark conversations and teachings. “I believe portraiture captures the spirit and soul of the individual painted on the surface. My paintings are intended to engage and encourage the viewer while diving deeper into each subject’s being. I want whomever to have an everlasting feeling of peace in that moment. My performances evoke a strong spiritual value, which allows my ancestry characteristics to take over as I tap into my southern roots and bring the people together.”Email Christopher
Hoesy Corona is an uncategorized queer Latinx artist of Mexican descent living and working in the United States. He creates work across a variety of media spanning installation, performance, and video. He develops otherworldly narratives centering marginalized individuals in society by exploring a process-based practice that investigates what it means to be a queer Latinx immigrant in a place where there are few. He choreographs large-scale performances and installations that often silently confront and delight viewers with some of the most pressing issues of our time. Reoccurring themes of queerness, race/class/gender, nature, isolation, celebration, and the climate crisis are present throughout his work. Hoesy has exhibited widely in galleries, museums, and public spaces in the United States and abroad.
Corona lived in Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin, before moving to Baltimore, MD, in 2005 to establish a professional practice in the arts. He is a recent GKFF Artist Fellow 2019 & 2020 in Tulsa, OK, and is a former Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow 2017-2018 in Washington, DC. Most recently he was a Nicholson Project Artist in Residence in Washington, DC.
Jason Austin has been drawing and painting ever since he could pick up a crayon. After high school, he studied graphic design at the County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ, and later transferred to New Jersey City University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Illustration in 2006. In 2020, he earned his MFA degree at the University of Delaware’s Art & Design program.
He has since worked as a professional artist in fine art, illustration, and graphic design. His work can be seen in publications such as Jersey City Magazine, Home Accents Today, and Gift Shop Magazine. Jason has also self-published his own comic books titled, “The Cosmic Samaritan” and “The Cassandra Effect”. He collaborated with author Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs on two children’s books, “Junebug and the Gumbo Garden” and “Soar”.
D.C.-born, Hyattsville-raised twins Eleisha Faith & Tonisha Hope McCorkle hold BFAs from NYU in Studio Art. Formerly enrolled in the Visual and Performing Arts program at the Jim Henson School of Arts, Media, and Communication, the two have been curating, studying, and creating art since they were 13. At 17, the twins lost their mother to the rare lung condition of sarcoidosis. Since then, the two have used their art as a space of healing–creating immersive experiences that engage with loss, grief, and identity. They have decided, after spending almost a decade developing their crafts individually, to come together and form an interdisciplinary collaborative. Depicting their experiences, their work speaks to the candid, yet uncanny truth of Black life, while simultaneously severing from a cyclical narrative deeply rooted in pain and disenfranchisement. Collard greens, hair, and faith are some relics represented in their work. Sourced from their own lives, the pair began to see their worlds collide as they grew into a new state of consciousness as one, traveling multiple dimensions in their work and conflating the ideas of reconstruction and resilience. Their work serves as a spiritual process towards completion–utilizing 2D, 3D, and 4D elements as puzzle pieces to form the bigger picture. Deconstructing materials in their practice, the dynamic duo reconstructs narratives through veracious and symbolic imagery to communicate stories of Black life, food, rituals, healing, spirituality, and magic.Hope and Faith's Site
Charles Mason, III, is an interdisciplinary artist from Baltimore. He received his AA from Community College of Baltimore County 2010, a BFA from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2014, and his Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts May 2019. He has curated several shows in Baltimore and Philadelphia and has exhibited work in institutions such as The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Woodmere Art Museum, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, and Maryland Art Place, to name a few. His work often speaks to identity, the experience of Blackness, and materiality.
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As a Black woman artist from Maryland, Murjoni has found that the best way to create and talk about moments of Black bodies is through art, especially claywork. As a student from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Murjoni creates sculpted beings that are based around real people and real experiences. Her work addresses and eliminates stereotypes through clay portraits and video work. With this, she enjoys going against the European standards of “beauty” that are placed upon people of color (light skin, a petite figure), and normalizing what is natural about Black bodies, loving and accepting them as they come.
Through her artwork, she forms connections and reflects upon herself and others based on shared experiences. As a part of her craft, she eliminates stereotypes and prejudices while uplifting the Black community.
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Kei Ito is a conceptual photographer working primarily with camera-less image-making, and installation art. Ito earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016, following his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014.
Ito’s work addresses issues of deep loss and intergenerational connection as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography. His work deals with trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and a later anti-nuclear activist, in relation to current threats of nuclear disaster. Ito’s artworks lead the audience on a journey from grief and remembrance to hope. Through his ritualistic image-making, the viewer sees how he grapples with his family’s historical connection to nuclear weapons and power. Thus, Ito’s art serves as an intermediary, a memento of his grandfather, and his own experience in today’s nuclear climate.
His exhibitions include: Afterimage Requiem at the Baltimore War Memorial, funded by the Rubys Artist Grant; an art billboard project in NYC, funded by 14×48.org art billboard organization; Only What We Can Carry, a solo show at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, DC; and a solo exhibition hosted by Noorderlicht in the Netherlands. He was also one of the participants of 2018 FOTOFOCUS Biennial in Cincinnati. Ito’s works have been collected by major art institutions including The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL; the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL; the California Institute of Integral Studies/Chroma in San Francisco, CA; En Foco in the Bronx, NY; and the Nikon Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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Jani Hileman is a multidisciplinary sculptor whose practice navigates ceramics, metal, wood, and photographic materials. Her work is often made with intensive hands-on processes that allow the materials to influence the final aesthetic of each of her pieces.
She draws inspiration from her materials, landscapes, personal experiences, feminism, environmentalism, politics, as well as her own intensive work ethic. Throughout her various projects, Hileman explores the everyday, the body, craft, gender, and the nature of objects themselves.
Jani Hileman exhibits her art throughout the Mid-Atlantic, having participated in group shows such as the Annual MICA Juried Ceramics Show, the MICA Juried Undergraduate Show, as well as at the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA, and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. Hileman completed her BFA at The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2018, where she was a 2017 Meyerhoff Internship Fellow, received a MICA Alumni Scholarship, and was the Ceramics Department Nominee for the Windgate Fellowship.
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Percussionist and performer Adam Rosenblatt has a penchant for finding uncommon ways to present and perform contemporary music. He has a keen interest for growing an interdisciplinary performance practice, believing that a mix of media and art forms can speak directly and powerfully and address current issues. Adam performs a repertoire that frequently occupies a grey area between music, theater, dance, sound installation, and performance art.
Between 2012 and 2016, Adam frequently performed with the Ictus Ensemble in Brussels, Belgium, appearing in their productions throughout Belgium, and abroad in Berlin, Lisbon, and Lille. Adam is a founding member of QuaQuaQua, a new percussion trio that focuses on the ambiguous space between musical and theatrical performance. In April 2017, QuaQuaQua mounted their first full production, GODLY CHAOS, at the Baltimore Theatre Project. Created as a theatrical concert, GODLY CHAOS included works of contemporary music that were reimagined and staged as theater pieces, including some works that utilized cutting-edge motion capture technologies.
Adam has recently performed at The Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece; Berghain in Berlin with experimental duo Matmos; The Banff Centre for the Arts as part of the Concerts in the 21st Century residency; BOZAR in Brussels, Belgium to perform a work for drum set, electronics, and motion sensors for school children; and National Sawdust in Brooklyn as part of their 2017 percussion festival. Additionally, Adam has performed in numerous festivals, including Maerzmusik in Berlin; Borealis in Bergen, Norway; Ars Musica in Brussels; and IRCAM’s Manifeste in Paris, France.
Adam received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, and an Advanced Master’s in Contemporary Chamber Music from Hogeschool Gent’s School of Arts in Gent, Belgium.
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Born in Detroit, Christopher Batten began his undergraduate training at the Columbus College of Art and Design and later completed his training at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies where he earned a BFA in Illustration in 2006. Christopher is a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA program, where he received a Hoffberger Merit Scholarship, the Dr. Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award, and two AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships. While at MICA, Batten also served as Graduate Program Assistant to Joan Waltemath, Hoffberger School Director. His artwork has been exhibited in cities such as Detroit, New York, San Antonio, Baltimore, and Atlanta. Batten’s works have also appeared at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, as well as the Red Bull House of Art Detroit.
Batten’s current drawing and painting practice examines issues of race and inequity relative to America’s current socio-political landscape. In these pieces he explores the phenomenological aspects of violence, fueled by his twenty-six years of experience as a martial artist and upbringing in an urban environment. In these paintings, Batten explores the space where inequity and violence collide.
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Samantha Sethi’s interdisciplinary work embraces a blend of physical and digital objects that explore how the world we see and move through can be modeled both visually and experientially. Through natural materials and processes, such as ice, tar, and sediment, Sethi creates works that are simultaneously actions and images: both the event at hand and the drawing or trace used to represent it through time. These works find their source in the artist’s view of our world as a landscape both inhabited and studied by humankind, altered even as it is observed–understanding the world as both the location and the material of our pursuit of meaning. During her residency at the Creative Alliance, Sethi plans to further pursue the potential of this work through drawing, digital works, and physical installation.
Samantha Sethi earned her MFA from American University (AU) in 2016 and her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She teaches art as an adjunct at AU and George Washington University. Sethi has shown in New York City, Washington, DC, and Berlin. Her work has appeared in several publications, including Bmore Art, The Washington Post, Time Out New York, and Studio Visit Magazine. Sethi recently completed a post-graduate residency at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, and is currently one of Baltimore’s Coldstream Homestead Montebello Sculpture Park Fellows.
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Adam Davies’s unmanipulated photographs explore points of intersection between architecture and the natural world. He received an EdM from Harvard University and a MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. From 2010 to 2013, he was a Lecturer & Media Specialist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and previously held teaching positions at Carnegie Mellon, Robert Morris, Catholic, and Harvard Universities. Davies is a past recipient of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment Fellowship and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship. His photographs have appeared in a number of publications, including East City Art, Photo Review, and Triple Canopy Magazine. He has been a resident at Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Chinati Foundation, Jentel, and the Edward Albee Foundation. Davies has received multiple fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in support of his current long-term project, which is an examination of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public transport infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic region. He was honored as Outstanding Emerging Artist at Washington DC’s 30th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards and is the recipient of the 2015 Clarence John Laughlin Award.
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Jerry Allen Gilmore’s most recent work reflects his realization that life’s every movement possesses a humorous bend in the river, where one may be given aid by animals, magicians, and shamans or menaced by devils, clowns, and bumble bees. Where you go depends upon where you have been, and where you can go depends upon what you can imagine. As with his previous work, his new pieces are autobiographical, full of repurposed and retraced narratives, such as identity, sexuality, spirituality, beauty, and mortality.
A prolific painter and printmaker, Jerry Allen Gilmore has exhibited internationally since 1978, including such prestigious venues as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Phipps Center for the Arts, DeVos Art Museum of Northern Michigan University, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Rochester Contemporary Art Center in New York. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Denver Art Museum, the Scottsdale Public Art Program, the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, and the State of Utah Fine Art Collection. Gilmore earned his MFA in Painting and Drawing from Washington State University in 1981 and his BFA in Fiber and Painting from Western Washington University in 1979.
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Originally from Mexico City, Alfonso Fernandez attended the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts in Minneapolis, where he earned his BFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2013. In 2016, Fernandez earned his MFA from the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where he was an apprentice to artist and instructor Joan Waltemath. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, most recently at the Katzen Art Center at American University in Washington, DC, the Circa Gallery in Minneapolis, and the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore.
Fernandez’s paintings are social, psychological, and personal investigations. Since he has moved to Baltimore, his work has evolved in response to living and working in a new, unfamiliar city, and now explores poetic abstraction in the wake of unrest, representation of societal memory, and figuration through the loss of identity. Each of these investigations are grounded in Fernandez’s experience moving from Mexico to the United States, and his effort to balance different cultures and languages, while handling the contested spaces of ethnography and assimilation.
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Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who combines media, often integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding a subject.
Rucker has received numerous grants, awards, and residencies for visual art and music. In 2012, he received an award for Visual Art from the Creative Capital Foundation, a 10-week residency at Headlands Center for the Arts in California, the Conductive Garboil Grant, a Grant for Artists Projects from Artist Trust, and an Artist Project Grant and Gallery Show from 4Culture.
As a musician and director, Rucker plays in various situations, from solo cellist to leading his large ensemble of 22 musicians. He was awarded Best Emerging Artist as well as Outside Jazz Ensemble of the Year by Earshot Jazz, and Jazz Artist of the Year by the Seattle Music Awards. Rucker regularly plays as a solo cellist, including past performances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and The Stone in New York City. He was invited by legendary filmmaker David Lynch to perform for the opening of Lynch’s film, Inland Empire.
As a public artist, Rucker has created work for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 4Culture, and the City of Tacoma, WA. Past residencies include Blue Mountain Center, Ucross Foundation, Art OMI, Banff Centre, Pilchuck Glass School, and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 2011, Rucker was commissioned to create the fine arts poster for Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival in Seattle.
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Alice Gadzinski (b.1987- d. 2018) completed her MFA at the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016 and received a BFA in photography from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2010. Gadzinski was included in group and solo shows in Maryland and Michigan, conducted workshops at the American Visionary Art Museum, held an adjunct position at MICA, and was an artist-in-residence at Montgomery College (Rockville, MD), Patterson Park Charter School (Baltimore, MD), and Creative Alliance (Baltimore, MD). During her 2016 – 2018 residency at Creative Alliance, Gadzinski was awarded a LAB Grant for her Blue Poodle Collaborative Performance Project. Blue Poodle remains unfinished due to her death in March 2018.
“My work is an unfulfillable pursuit of an “original” through an interpreting of my own definition of authenticity. I explore ideas of taste and the pressures of social performance, examining the present through past “camp” iconographies. My work strives to juxtapose beauty with artificiality, social standards with natural urges, and domestic safety with vulnerability. I am interested in the point of identity formation when childhood pretending evolves into adulthood denial. Through this questioning of façade and escapism I hope to cast a neurotic yet tongue-in-cheek light on our oftentimes-laughable adult existence.
Influenced by the aesthetic of television variety shows of the early 1960s, especially The Lawrence Welk Show (1955-1971), my work is created in a space between reality and fantasy. Each piece demonstrates a guilty pleasure in the artificial, particularly as it refers to the construction of female identity. In revealing the norm as artifice and facade, my work uses the redefinition of social obstacles as a source of empowerment.
Second-hand, found objects provide the inspiration and physical materials of my work. I rarely alter the objects I find, but am attracted to the idea of the purity of the object in contrast to the aged, discarded, and broken state in which I find them. The objects’ acquired dirt, grime, and price tags represent variously a sense of delusion, incongruous hilarity, and honesty.”
Alice Gadzinski, 2017
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Born in Columbus, Georgia, and now based in the New York City area, Amy Sherald documents contemporary African American experience in the United States through arresting, otherworldly figurative paintings. Sherald engages with the history of photography and portraiture, inviting viewers to participate in a more complex debate about accepted notions of race and representation, and to situate Black heritage centrally in American art.
Sherald received her MFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art and BA in painting from Clark-Atlanta University. Sherald was the first woman and first African-American to ever receive the grand prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; she also received the 2017 Anonymous Was A Woman award and the 2019 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award. In 2018, Sherald was selected by First Lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait as an official commission for the National Portrait Gallery. Sherald’s work is held in public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Embassy of the United States, Dakar, Senegal; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC.
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MJ’s work arises from ritual attempts to return to a body abandoned in trauma that she traces in part to colonial history in her mother’s native Philippines. Referencing indigenous ceremonies and elemental processes and incorporating found and organic materials, including her hair, Neuberger’s interactive and light-based installations and sculptural and image-based works acknowledge shared vulnerability and suggest reconnection with an indigenous, nature-based self as a path toward integrating trauma stemming from race and gender-based violence and broader cultural aggression.
Neuberger has presented work at multiple national and regional venues, including Swale House on Governor’s Island, New York City, Art Resources Transfer, Gathering of the Tribes and Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, the Center for the Arts, Spark at Light City, Pascal and Cade galleries, and VisArts in Maryland, as well as in exhibitions in North Carolina and Indiana. She has received multiple awards, including the Fleur and Charles Bresler residency in sculpture and installation at VisArts in 2019 and fellowships at the University of North Carolina and Taleamor Park. Neuberger curates the Great Wide Open art/performance series in Baltimore, MD, Cambridge, MD, and New York City, and her writing and criticism have appeared in SPIN, The Nation, and the Village Voice.