BALTIMORE, Md. – Members of the Maryland Judiciary, including District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey, Administrative Judge Halee F. Weinstein, and Baltimore City Public Schools celebrated the contestants and winners of the seventh annual Courting Art Baltimore contest. This year’s theme is “Awaken Baltimore” and 17 student finalists’ artwork was unveiled and is now decorating the District Court in Baltimore City’s Eastside courthouse at 1400 E. North Avenue. Seven of the students were awarded college scholarships totaling $20,000 in recognition of their outstanding artwork, including a first-place scholarship of $7,500. Students were invited to submit paintings, drawings, or other two-dimensional works of art based on the “Awaken Baltimore” theme.
“The continued success of this program speaks highly of the connection between our courts, the schools, and the community,” said Chief Judge Matthew J. Fader, Court of Appeals of Maryland. “These impactful works of art will serve as a reminder of how important of a role the courts and justice system play in society. We are proud to display their creative expressions within the Eastside District courthouse.”
“I am honored to congratulate some of Baltimore’s most talented, artistic, and dedicated youth on their personal expressions of social justice through their artwork,” said Chief Judge John P. Morrissey, District Court of Maryland. “Their artwork not only decorates the courthouse, but it provides the many perspectives of Baltimore youth for members of the public to contemplate and enjoy. I congratulate each participant on their visionary artwork, and I thank Judge Halee Weinstein for introducing this wonderful program to Baltimore’s young artists.”
Reproductions of the winning artwork will be on long-term display in the Eastside District courthouse. In addition to scholarships, Courting Art Baltimore awarded each of the 17 finalists with a $50 gift card and two students received free placement in the Maryland Institute College of Art Young People’s Studio.
“All of the students who participated in Courting Art Baltimore did a fantastic job and each work of art demonstrates their unique and thoughtful perspectives,” said Administrative Judge Halee F. Weinstein, District Court in Baltimore City. “The program was adapted from one that I visited in Pennsylvania, which was replicated in Baltimore with the help and support of the Baltimore Bar Foundation, the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Baltimore City Public Schools, the Arts Every Day program, and countless others who helped make this program a success by bringing art to a heavily utilized public space such as the courthouse.”
Courting Art Baltimore, established by Judge Weinstein in 2015, is an art contest open to all Baltimore City public high school students. Presented by the District Court in Baltimore City in conjunction with the Baltimore Bar Foundation, Inc., and the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Courting Art Baltimore is celebrated in partnership with Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore City Public Schools, Arts Every Day, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and the CollegeBound Foundation. Although Judge Weinstein retires in August, she will continue to plan and manage the event for years to come.
“I commend Judge Weinstein on her passion for working with young people in Baltimore and bringing this worthy art project to fruition locally,” said newly designated Administrative Judge Geoffrey G. Hengerer, District Court in Baltimore City. “Over the years, the Eastside District courthouse has been a light in the community by connecting court visitors and students with a public space to view and display artwork, creating a more positive experience.”
Ashanti Latta of the Baltimore Design School was awarded the top prize, including a $7,500 scholarship and one of two free placements in the MICA Young People’s Studio.
The seven scholarship winners are:
- Ashanti Latta, Baltimore Design School, $7,500 and free placement in the MICA Young People’s Studio
- Makayla Salliey, Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, $5,000
- Grey Clifford, Baltimore Design School, $3,500
- Keenan Staton, Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, $2,500
- Maria F. Uben Zacarias, Reginald F. Lewis High School, $1,500 and free placement in the MICA Young People’s Studio
- Kevin Taylor, Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, $750
- Tyron Brady, Baltimore Design School, $500
Visit mdcourts.gov to view the students’ artwork.