Best Community Artist: Katie Bachler

Through her fellowship with the Baltimore Museum of Art, Katie Bachler has been bringing her BMA Outpost, a “mobile museum,” to neighborhoods, community centers, schools, public markets, career centers, cafes—you name it—all across the city. At the Outpost, Bachler invites visitors to make something, to “share a feeling,” and talks with them about their community. She also invites them to add a memory to the neighborhood maps she posts up at the site. It’s a way to use art to engage with people and encourage them to think about their place in the world on the spot—but it’s also an exercise in using institutional power to stretch it past the limits of where we think art belongs. Bachler has described her work with the Outpost as non-goal-oriented and rhizomatic—and indeed, when we visit the sites we can almost see the wheels turning in the artist-participants’ minds.

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