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MICA's 'Intersection' connects past, present of Baltimore thoroughfares

Exhibition explores development of North Avenue and Charles Street

9/4/2015, 6 a.m.
The M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) presents “Intersection,” an exhibition showcasing the ...
The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) “Intersection" exhibition showcases the layered stories of people, places and moments in history that have shaped the identity of one of Baltimore City’s popular intersections, North Avenue and Charles Street in the Station North neighborhood. (Above): Ras Tre Subira, co-director of Afrikan Youth Alchemy, working with students during Griot’s Eye Program. (Courtesy Photo)

— The M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) presents “Intersection,” an exhibition showcasing the layered stories of people, places and moments in history that have shaped the identity of one of Baltimore City’s popular intersections, North Avenue and Charles Street in the Station North neighborhood. The exhibition, which highlights four corners and four eras in history within the past 100 years, will take place Tuesday, Sept. 1–Sunday, Sept. 20, in the Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries inside the Fred Lazarus IV Center (131 W. North Ave). A reception will take place on Friday, Sept. 4, 5–7 p.m.

“Intersection,” is a curated selection of newly commissioned work and pieces from personal collections, including painting, photography, projection artistry, site-specific installation and performance art. The exhibition is a visual experience creating an opportunity for artists to discover the city’s history, offering viewers the chance to look at the many layers of the historic crossroad of North Avenue and Charles Street. Viewers will be able to explore the geography, social relationships and cultural landscape of Baltimore’s rapidly changing urban center.

“At the four corners of North Avenue and Charles Street, we see the past, present and future of Baltimore,” said Margaret MacDonald, M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate and co-curator. “There, we find Pearson’s Florist, a family-owned business for more than 30 years; an abandoned 1928 limestone bank building; the rehabilitated Ynot Lot, a site for community events and programming; and the recently renovated Station North Chicken Box, a performance and gallery space to Station North.”

Charles Street and North Avenue, a major crossroad that carries the flow of people and things east and west, as well as north and south through Baltimore, act as a focal point for artistic expression— a lens to view and speak to a variety of cultures, races and identities. The exhibition will point to pivotal, historic moments and movements in the U.S., such as the Great Depression, Great Migration, Civil Rights Movement and present day, while capturing a keen sense of the importance of urban life and its many cultural shifts.

“The intersection of North and Charles has been an important hub for culture and activity throughout the past 100 years,” said Kibibi Ajanku, M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate and co-curator. “We are thrilled to have artists respond to the rich history to show where we, as a city, have been, where we are now and, through them, where we might go.”

The exhibition features MICA’s Film and Video Chair and video installation artist Nadia Hironaka, photographer Reuben “Dubscience” Greene, graphic designer Tiffany Small ’14 (Graphic Design Post Baccalaureate), multimedia artist and educator Ada Pinkston ’13 (Community Arts M.F.A.), filmmaker Ras Tre Subira and performance artist Olu Butterfly Woods.

Hours for MICA’s galleries, which are free and open to the public, are Mondays–Saturdays, 10 a.m. –5 p.m., and Sundays, noon–5 p.m., except on major holidays.