The State Of The Arts Issue

This year's State of the Arts issue focuses on artists who are inclusive, daring, and ahead-of-the-curve—not comfortable sitting on the curve, or even man spreading on the curve, as so much oft-praised art in this city tends to be. In our cover story, “Balti Gurls on the Guerrilla Girls,” Balti Gurls founding member Jenné Afiya says: “This whole attacking the institution thing just gets really in a circle. For example, a lot of black women aren't in the Whitney or black women are in the paintings but [are] not the artists. But do I want to be in the Whitney, though?” Afiya thinks about this. “Maybe I don't, maybe I'm not down for participating in an institution that has upheld Eurocentric beauty standards, creative standards, education standards—maybe that's not the goal. I think attacking the institution makes the institution a goal.”

Afiya articulates the theme of this year's State of the Arts issue quite well: Making your own space rather than aspiring to be subsumed by the institutions already in place and in power. This issue is about “building scene” and the best way to illustrate that is to allow the artists to tell their story in their own words or through their art. We have an in-depth conversation with Balti Gurls members Jessica Hyman, Khadija Nia Adell, N'Deye Diakhate, Joy Postell, and Afiya that explores feminist art collective the Guerrilla Girls and their current BMA exhibit. Then, West Baltimore photographer Carde Cornish shares his photographs as he moves—low-key—between worlds with an eye and empathy that are unmatched. And, because we think Baltimore's poetry scene right now is perhaps the city's strongest and most varied scene—we gave it “Best Scene” in our Best Of Baltimore issue last month—we've got a mini-poetry anthology  featuring eight of our favorite poets: Joy Anjelica, Tracy Dimond, CiCi Felton, Janea Kelly, Tim Paggi, Lindsay Raspi, Hannah Sawyerr, Mohamed Tall.

Also included in this issue is a piece by Reginald Thomas II about the Baltimore Orioles and what it feels like to be black and attend a game in 2016. It revisits the questions about inclusivity that fueled last year's arts issue and looks at the fans of a major Baltimore institution: our beloved O's. For our sportsball-averse readers, consider the excellent piece an experiment in expanding the definition of “the arts”—sports is an art too, no? Along with these intimate and unmitigated voices, there are 20 previews of a number of events scheduled for the fall in the world of visual arts, stage, film, music, and literature.

  • Fall Arts Guide: Events

    Fall Arts Guide: Events

  • Contact Sheet: The Work of Carde Cornish

    Contact Sheet: The Work of Carde Cornish

    Carde Cornish photographs all facets of life in the city. A native of West Baltimore, Cornish documents everything, and his style is an intimate, yet hands-off approach. Many of his photographs give glimpses into his world without using words. He photographs people he knows up and down Pennsylvania...

  • Balti Gurls on Guerrilla Girls

    Balti Gurls on Guerrilla Girls

    When people think about feminist or activist art, they often think of the Guerrilla Girls. The New York-based feminist collective of women artists, who hide their identities beneath gorilla masks and take the names of women artists of the past, goes back to the mid-'80s, with over 55 members over...

  • Fall Arts Guide: Poetry

    Fall Arts Guide: Poetry

  • Wild Card: Life in a white man's sport

    Wild Card: Life in a white man's sport

    As the light rail zips down Howard Street, the sight of downtown gets me riled up with resentment. I'm headed toward Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but the stadium is not just a stadium but rather a grand token of appreciation for white flight, redlining, blockbusting, and zero tolerance policy that...