PMF VII Picks

Balti Gurls

If you haven't already heard from this paper or the Sun or i-D or Dazed, or all the other chatter, Balti Gurls is the black and brown art girl gang that's been bubbling for a few years now but has more recently become a steaming hot volcanic eruption on the scene, both locally and nationally. A highlight at last year's PMF, the Gurls return this year with more posters, stickers, and the final run of their first edition t-shirts, plus original print work and soft goods from members of the collective. All proceeds support the production of future Balti Gurls events, which, between their exhibitions, performances, readings, talks, and recurring "Edge Control" music showcases, have been consistently glorious. baltigurls.com. (Maura Callahan)

 

Clubhouse Lithography Workshop

Based in Baltimore, Clubhouse presents its latest collaboration in the form of limited edition lithographs by Hillery Sproatt, a Chicago-based artist and textile designer whose work recalls, at different points, Jockum Nordström, your grandmother's dish towels, or a child whose drawings are informed by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Clubhouse is moving into the Compound soon and its founders, Leyla Rzayeva and Sean Keelan, say they want to make their lithography studio open to the public. At PMF, Rzayeva and Keelan are also slinging their own prints, paintings, Keelan's tote bags, and more. clubhouselitho.com (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

PRESS PRESS

The local interdisciplinary publishing initiative founded by Kimi Hanauer and Sonja Solvang is responsible for the delicious sunset-hued texts accompanying Alloverstreet Art Walk events and last year's amazing 100% YES Manifesto created in collaboration with the Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project, among other publications. This year, the group is working with support from BmoreArt to launch "IF I RULED THE WORLD" (inspired by the Nas song), an ongoing print and digital series showcasing responses from local artists and activists on their visions for an ideal future. The publication will be accompanied by a two-day conference at PMF featuring panels and speakers including musicians Greydolf and Amy Reid; artists Jared Brown, Person Ablach, Besan Khamis, Rahul Shindhe, and Balti Gurls' Khadija Nia Adell; youth-centered video production crew Get Your Life! Productions; and young writers and artists from Refugee Youth Project. Plus, Bryanna Jenkins of the Baltimore Trans Alliance will deliver a keynote address. presspress.info. (Maura Callahan)

 

ICA Baltimore / Paul Shortt

This nomadic institution hosted a slew of great shows last year, including Emily Campbell's large-scale coloring-book-ish dystopian "Imaginary Islands" and Lu Zhang's obsessive, archaeological "topo(log) typo(log)"—both of which made it into our Top Ten Art Shows last year. For each artist ICA exhibits, they create special edition prints, so if you missed out on any of those you can pick up a print from both of the aforementioned artists along with Graham Coreil-Allen, Angela Conant, and Justin D. Strom, and other past ICA artists. Paul Shortt also offers zines, prints, buttons, and signs from his "Reserved For Loitering" project, meshing well with Allen's multiples that are for sale: pins, patches, and booklets with "poetic descriptions of invisible public space" from his "SiteLines" project. icabaltimore.org (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

JTBeezwax

Graphic designer Jermaine T. Bell constructs colorful, witty, historically-grounded prints and patterns that specifically explore two quite different (though still deeply intertwined) unapologetically black moments from American culture: the 1960s, during the rise of the Black Power Movement and Civil Rights, and the late 80s-early 90s wherein there seemed to be a renaissance of black popular culture, via shows such as "A Different World" and "The Cosby Show" (the latter of which, seems quite different in light of a litany of rape accusations against Bill Cosby). The designs sample motifs, quotes, and color schemes of the past to highlight the way the past is challenged by ideas of blackness in the 2010s. Bell's aesthetic I think, is best defined by an essay he wrote for BmoreArt titled, "The Black Gaze: Where Cliff Huxtable and Cookie Lyon Can Coexist." At PMF, Bell sells his prints including a few new ones as well as some greeting card featuring his design work. www.jermainetbell.com; etsy.com/shop/jtbeezwax. (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Kaita Niwa

You know those translucent soaps that have little plastic figurines or flowers embedded in them that, as a child, you might have clawed at or chewed on to get to the center? That's what I think of when I see Kaita Niwa's "Paddles," a series of palm-sized (or larger) aluminum prints encased in epoxy resin that hang on the wall or rest in your hand like a mirror. That, and net art, religious icons, sex toys, kids' toys from the '90s, and a mess of other loaded or enticingly tactile stuff comes to mind. The pieces come in various shapes like your standard rectangular paddle as well as the silhouettes of knives and sharks and designer water bottles, containing images like stock-photo eggs, cartoon characters, Cup Noodles, and anime girls. At PMF, you can pick up the last remaining paddles as well as some new pieces that seem to conflate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The sales will help raise funds for Niwa's upcoming solo show at Terrault Contemporary, which the artist tells City Paper is dedicated to his estranged sister and will explore his gender identity, and, to a lesser extent, race and sexuality. supafuresshu.xyz. (Maura Callahan)

 

Lala Albert

In Lala Albert's 2014 comic for Noel Freibert's WEIRD magazine, "Brain Buzz," a girl moves about her ordinary day, getting coffee, working on the computer, but a bee keeps pestering her, nesting in her hair and buzzing. Later on she realizes that she's secreting something particularly sticky, like honey. And this guy she's hooking up with doesn't seem too terribly concerned about it: "What's up with this though? The taste is like… really sweet. Are you alright?" They keep fucking, but in the next panels she becomes more and more removed, sinking in until she's finally stuck in this thick gooey honey. In her style that's rooted in observational drawing and maybe also early 90s manga, Albert finds elegant ways to tap into situations of anxiety, intimacy, alienation, and more. plslala.com (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

Lale Westvind

Two years ago, Harlem-based artist Lale Westvind's band Gun Tit (which also features cartoonists Tom Toye and Laura Perez) totally wrecked the Crown's PMF pre-show unleashing a half-hour of breathless quasi-metal, sort industrial, slightly punk instrumentals as filtered through the sensibility of jazz. Gun Tit's performance also made Westvind's pop-art sci-fi comix—think Jack Kirby drawing Picasso's 'On the Beach' but also um, feminist and more fun— such as "Hot Dog Beach" and "Hyperspeed To Nowhere," make a bit more sense to me: a wild-eyed merging of the "organic" and the "inorganic." At PMF, Westvind sells her latest book, "Hax" out on Breakdown Press, prints, previous work (we're a big fan of "Trial One") and possibly a drawing zine tentatively titled, "PSYUNTZ BUK," though she's got to find the time to get that one together, she explained via email. lalewestvind.com; lalewestvind.storenvy.com. (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Terence Hannum

Musician, artist, occasional City Paper contributor, and Stevenson University Professor Terence Hannum's medium is sound. Most obviously, there is the gristly music he makes as a member of both the art-doom group Locrian and the synth trio The Holy Circle, and as a solo artist creating shimmering, often horrifying drone. Then there is his visual art, which uses cassette tape laid across panels and canvases and peeled off, leaving abstract remnants of musical data, and his exploratory zines which often riff on and investigate cassette tape advertising imagery from the 80s. The result is a body of work about and on the topic of decay, memory and the things we leave behind. At PMF, Hannum sells prints, a new zine "XDR" about the extended dynamic range logo on cassette tapes, and two new 7-inches—one from The Holy Circle and a solo work released on his label Anathemata Editions. @terencehannum; terencehannum.com; terencehannum.bigcartel.com; anathemataeditions.bigcartel.com. (Brandon Soderberg)

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