Inside the Hall: Maryland Hall News Blog | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Inside the Hall: Maryland Hall News Blog

Daily Recap: Thursday

Thursday, the final day of the Under Construction Arts residency, was focused on new creation, reorganization as well as the Facebook livestream that evening.


The morning began with Megan Bridge and dancer Tyra Jones-Blain arriving before everyone else to choreograph a new solo for Tyra to be used that evening. Megan wanted to add the solo because it allowed her to introduce some of the material that appears later in the work and allows the audiences to more properly enter the evening.


 A note received from a viewer of the Wednesday night Livestream spurred Megan to rethink the order of the pieces that had been created for The Alt.terre. She realized starting with the pieces that focused more on presence allowed the night to flow in a more logical way. It became a more deliberate and gradual flow for the night. This required time to practice the new order and build transitions.

Megan worked with the technical team on lighting, camera angles and music transitions in preparation for the final Livestream which went off successfully. The final presentation showed all the work created over the last week and ended with a moderated dialogue about the whole experience with Megan and the dancers.


A major storm had run through Annapolis during the performance and we were all greeted with a stunning rainbow when we departed Maryland Hall for the final time.

A very special thank you to the performers from Fidget and the Annapolis community for participating in this inaugural Under Construction Arts residency.

Daily Recap: Wednesday

We opened Wednesday morning with another interview recording. This time we focused on one of the major underlying themes of The Alt.terre: presence and altered states of consciousness. The conversation flowed through the research done for the piece and Megan’s own history of exploring presence in her choreographic practice.

A majority of the day’s work was spent preparing for that evening’s work in progress live stream. Megan worked with the dancers to hone in specific movements and made sure they felt comfortable with the material that was created throughout the week. Two distinct worlds of The Alt.terre have taken shape over the residency and in preparation for the showing, Megan and the dancers created a choreographed segue between the two sections to create one cohesive structure.

As the rehearsal day came to a close, Fidget and the Maryland Hall tech team experimented with lighting, camera angles and music transitions for the livestream.

The evening’s Facebook Livestream went off without a hitch. Audiences were encouraged to watch the work created and look specifically to see how they felt about the transition between the two distinct worlds and whether they noticed any of the performers really embodying a state of presence during the performance. The evening closed with a brief discussion about the evening’s showing and Fidget’s reaction to the presentation.

 

Daily Recap: Monday/Tuesday

Under Construction Arts kicked off Monday morning with another interview with Megan Bridge. This time we discussed more in depth what she is trying to accomplish this week in the residency.​

After the interview and dancer warm ups, the Fidget team spent the morning in some structured improv activities in order to build the movement worlds that will inhabit the piece. The worlds have taken the names of ‘particle lines’ and ‘quivering/bouncing’. Each world has a different energy that the dancers inhabit and each world has its own structure and rules the dancers use to create.

They closed the morning exercises by expanding on pieces that were created for The Alt.terre in January/February of this year.

Monday afternoon was spent expanding on the work done earlier in the day. Fidget has found a balance between moments of intellectual/structured development and improvisational work, finding that switching between these different creative energies allows the dancers to balance their energy while both building movement and exploring presence.

On Tuesday Megan encouraged the dancers to build a phrase on their own. She showed them three movement ideas and told them that she wanted them to travel in space, exhibit certain movement qualities (weight and momentum) and asked them to build it for 16 counts. This is what the dancers created:

After lunch the dancers and the Maryland Hall team did a Facebook Live test to prepare for our scheduled livestreams on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Not only did this allow us to practice our sound and camera angles, the dancers were able to watch a video of their work and learn from it.

We closed the day out by working specific movement sections to allow different dancers to inhabit different roles in the piece.


Daily Recap: Saturday/Sunday


The Fidget dancers arrived in Annapolis early Saturday evening. After checking into the Westin, the crew met at Maryland Hall for a walking tour of downtown.


After strolling down to city dock, the artists enjoyed Dinner Under the Stars at Tsunami on West Street before turning in for the night.

Megan Bridge, Co-Director of Fidget, arrived at Maryland Hall first on Sunday morning to record an interview about her company and the project, The Alt.terre she will be developing in Annapolis this week.

Here is a quick introduction to the team that is visiting. All performers engaged in the Temple University Dance program. The Alt.terre is a part of Megan’s MFA thesis.

 "Royalty Free Music from Bensound"


The rehearsal day was split into two blocks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning workshop was focused on improvisational play and trying to embody different movement worlds.

A special thank you to Preserve Restaurant for providing lunch and dinner for the artists during their stay in Annapolis.

Afternoon rehearsal was focused on building structure for the dance. Instead of Megan choreographing the movement for the dancers, the collective worked collaboratively through a structured ‘game’ to develop content.

 

The day wrapped with the development of about 4 minutes of material that the company can use and refine for The Alt.terre


Under Construction Arts: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Creative Process Through Dance

 

Photos from Fringe Arts by Kevin Monko

This week we are launching a new program at Maryland Hall called Under Construction Arts, a week-long residency that will become an annual and ongoing project to celebrate the artistic process.

In this inaugural developmental residency, we will work with Philadelphia based company Fidget, a platform for the experimental, collaborative work of Megan Bridge (choreographer) and Peter Price (composer/video art). Fidget is a think tank for research and discussion, offering historical, political, and philosophical access points for a deeper understanding of the art. Maryland Hall will share their development process on a new artistic piece, The Alt.terre, with our community and provide opportunities for you to connect with the creative process.

Under Construction Arts focuses on the artistic process, hosting and highlighting work in progress in order to build a deeper connection between artists and audiences. There will be opportunities for digital interaction with dancers through feedback on performances and daily group conversations.

You will be able to follow the entire process here, on this blog, with daily recaps, videos, and more. We will also be sharing throughout the week on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

  

(left) Photo by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts (middle) Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art (right) photo by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts


Save the dates for two Facebook Live events:

Wednesday, June 24 at 6:30pm we will share a work in progress showing and solicit your feedback on different aspects of the work.
SET A REMINDER ON FACEBOOK

Thursday, June 25 at 6:30pm we will present a final look at what Fidget created in their time in Annapolis as well as discuss the importance of supporting the creative process now more than ever
SET A REMINDER ON FACEBOOK

Under Construction Arts is a part of how Maryland Hall envisions gathering people together again in our new environment. We encourage you to read our Call for Artists and see how we plan to activate our space through the summer and into the fall.


 

Photos by Kevin Monko from Fridge Arts

The Alt.terre - The Alt.terre is a multi-sensory performance experience that uses dance, music, video projections, and architectural lighting design to construct an uncanny world. Performers dance along the line where deeply embodied movement practices tip into alternate states of consciousness. Tension grows between the warm, generous presence of the dancers and a crisp, post-human aesthetic.

The Alt.terre Concept & Background
Dance and performance can catalyze altered states of consciousness, for both performers and audience. Many dance practitioners talk about performance presence as if they are brought “to another place” in the moment of performance, and share stories of profound or life changing experiences through the act of performance. Where do dancers “go” when they enter an altered state of consciousness? What happens, and what is brought back? Where do audience members go when they experience being profoundly moved or have an epiphany in response to a performance or any artistic experience? The Alt.terre grows out of all of these questions.

The Alt.terre creates a holistic experience for audience members—sonically immersive, visually inviting, and relational. The concepts of hospitality, generosity, and presence are central concerns in this work.

The Alt.terre is also a play on the words “altar” as a place of reverence, focused attention, and worship, and “alt-“ (meaning other) and “terre,” the French word for ground or earth. Magic, artificial or other-worldly intelligence, and the uncanny are all conceptual underpinnings of this work.


About Fidget

Founded in 2008, Fidget is a platform for the experimental, collaborative work of Megan Bridge (choreographer) and Peter Price (composer/video art). Bridge and Price have created more than twenty original works that involve live performance, sound, and visual design. Fidget is a think tank for research and discussion, offering historical, political, and philosophical access points for a deeper understanding of the art. In 2009, Bridge and Price opened Fidget Space, a warehouse live/work space and experimental performance venue in Kensington, Philadelphia, which serves the arts community by providing education, space, production support, employment and internship opportunities for local artists. Central to Fidget’s mission is decreasing the distance between art and life, and between theory and practice.

 

(left) Photo by Ryan Collerd, courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art  (right) photo by Daniel Kontz

 

 


Megan Bridge (choreographer) is an internationally touring dance artist, producer, and scholar based in Philadelphia, USA. Her choreography presents formalist structures that are populated by somatically generated, often improvisational movement material. She is particularly interested in the historical lineages and discursive frameworks that situate her work. Bridge has worked with choreographers and companies such as Group Motion, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson, Jerome Bel, Willi Dorner, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, and Susan Rethorst. Deborah Hay, Manfred Fischbeck, Brigitta Herrmann, Erin Manning, and Merian Soto have been major influences. Bridge is currently a graduate fellow in the Dance Department at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she is pursuing her MFA.  

Meghan Frederick (performer) is a dance artist based in Philadelphia, PA. Her choreography has been presented and supported by creative residencies throughout New York City and the Northeastern United States, most recently by VOX POPULI and Leah Stein Studio in collaboration with Kate Seethaler; Space Gallery (ME), Movement Research (NYC) Brooklyn Studios for Dance (NYC), Arts on Site (NYC), Center for Performance Research (NYC), STUFFED Dinner and Dance (NYC), and The Living Room (ME). Meghan teaches dance to children and adults, as a Guest Artist at Summer Festival of the Arts (ME), and at institutions throughout the Northeast. Meghan was a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company from 2008-2014 and has recently performed with Liz Lerman, Carlye Eckert, Maya Orchin, Catherine Galasso, and Kendra Portier, and as a guest with SUBCIRCLE Dance Company.

Tyra Jones-Blain (performer) is a recent graduate of Temple University’s dance program. She is currently working as a teaching and performing artist throughout the Philadelphia area. By her sophomore year, she began teaching children and hosting her own adult workshops at local studios. Jones-Blain also participated in Philadelphia's first non-binary performance competition, Mx. Everything. In this 12-week competition, she went head to head with drag queens, magicians, contortionists and ended up taking home the grand prize. She has presented original works in Temple shows, and performed for choreographers including: Dara Meredith, Merian Soto, Laura Katz, Marion Ramirez, Megan Bridge, and Dinita Clark. Dance for Jones-Blain has always been second nature. It exists within her habits, how she talks, how she interprets; It is her soul's playmate. She discovers new things about herself and her environment everyday through the act of dancing, and she loves to share her discoveries with the world.

Rachel DeForrest Repinz (performer) is a New York based dancer, choreographer, teaching artist, and creative director. Rachel received her BA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo State College, and is an MFA candidate in Temple University’s Dance Performance and Choreography program. Rachel has presented her work nationally and internationally, at venues including the biennial Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance conference at UWI Barbados, the 2018 NDEO conference held in San Diego, the 2019 NDEO conference held in Miami, DaCi’s 2017 national gathering, the Institute of Dance Artistry and more. In the past year, Rachel has been honored to perform premiere works by Dr. S. Ama Wray using Embodiology techniques, Merian Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, and as a principal dancer for Enya Kalia Creations among others. Rachel has created works for the UN’s World Water Day, Utah All State Dance Ensemble, the Buffalo State Dance Theatre Company, and more. Most recently, Rachel has returned from Tokyo, Japan, where she conducted fieldwork research on pedestrianism as improvisation in preparation of her upcoming MFA thesis concert, All You Can Eat! 

Peter Price (music) is a composer, electronic musician, video artist and media theorist who creates sonic and visual environments for live performance. His musical compositions, dance films, multi-media productions, and lectures have been presented in Bogota, Warsaw, Kraków, Tokyo, New York, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Philadelphia, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Zurich, and the Universities of Basel and Lausanne. Peter’s deepening engagement with digital media technologies/practices and critical theory/continental philosophy led him to study at the European Graduate School (EGS) where he earned his MA and PhD. Peter has published two books of music philosophy with Atropos Press: Becoming Music: Between Boredom and Ecstasy with in 2010, and Resonance: Philosophy for Sonic Art in 2011.

Tiana Sanders (Performer) is a dancer and choreographer from Wilmington, Delaware. She is currently an undergraduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a dance major, and Delaware Technical Community College as a business major. She trained at Christina Cultural Arts Center also in Wilmington, Delaware, under Dara Meredith. She attended the DCNS Summer Dance Intensive where she’s taken numerous Master Classes with Nationally and World-Renowned choreographers. In 2015, she joined Eleone Connection, under Charon Mapp, and was a part of this company for two seasons. She also taught an introduction to modern and two hip hop classes with Christina Cultural Arts Center’s HeArt Under the Hoodie Program.

Mijka Smith (performer) is a dancer and choreographer from Elverson, Pennsylvania. She has been dancing since age three, primarily trained in ballet, contemporary/modern, and hip hop techniques. She spent her junior and senior years of high school as a dance dual enrollment student and company member at West Chester University while continuing to study, teach, and choreograph at her home studio, Remix Dance Collective LLC in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Mijka is now studying at Temple University where she pursues a BFA in dance. Since coming to Temple in 2018 she has had the opportunity to perform various works, some of her favorites including Megan Bridge’s Malo as part of the Grounds that Shout! project and Marion Ramírez’s kNots and Nests. Now working as an Administrative Assistant for Fidget, Mijka continues to study, perform, and choreograph as she enters her final year at Temple.

Under Construction Arts is Supported by:

Sallie Findlay and Gene Nelson

Food for artists provided by Preserve Restaurant

Housing for artists provided by The Westin Annapolis

Recording and streaming made possible by the Goldstein-Cunitz Center for Film & New Media

Logistical support for Call for Artists and reopening provided by Katcef Brothers Inc.

Special thanks to Wiley H. Bates Middle School for providing the dance floor

   

Safety

In preparation for the Under Construction Arts residency, the six Fidget artists decreased their non-essential activities for a period of two weeks before their arrival and showed no symptoms of COVID 19 during that period. Maryland Hall has established a separate section of our facility for the activities associated with this effort including a separate entrance for arrivals and departures from that of current building users and contractors working in the space. The Maryland Hall technical team will maintain safe social distancing procedures in addition to other measure to provide a safe environment for these artists to create. The dancers will be performing together in a way they feel comfortable and have mutually agreed to.

Maryland Hall was founded in community and collaboration. In honor of our 40th anniversary celebration, we dug into our Archives. Thanks to the dedicated work of several volunteers over the years, we have notebooks filled with news articles and clippings from the the last four decades. One of our favorite discoveries is this article from 1978 about the selection of the vacated Annapolis High School for the home of the new Maryland Hall:

For our Summer 2020 Catalog, we created a timeline of our history. Enjoy it online here. 

While our building is currently closed to the public, we are still working on finding ways our audience can access all of our exhibits that are on display. Please follow our social media outlets and sign up for our e-newsletter for videos, images, and other fun content about our exhibits, artists, and more!

For Unnatural Causes: Art of a Critical Nature, we have created this blog along with a complimentary video tour of the exhibit. While the images in the blog include every artist shwcased in the exhibit, this is not representative of every single work of art in the show. To see every piece of art in Unnatural Causes please take time to watch the video!

*Many of the works in this exhibition are for sale! We will be providing a 10% discount on artwork sales while our building is closed to promote supporting local artists and art organizations. If you have questions about which works are for sale or anything at all please email ekohlenstein@mdhallarts.org.

 

Baltimore, Md.--Maryland artist collective 4 Alarm Artists presents the multi-venue exhibition Unnatural Causes: Art of a Critical Nature, which features works and performances by more than 30 Maryland artists and artist collectives all addressing issues related to detrimental changes to climate and biodiversity.

The show, which features different exhibitions at Maryland Hall in Annapolis from Mar. 5-May 2, at Creative Alliance in Baltimore from Mar. 7-Apr. 11, and at Carroll Mansion in Baltimore from Apr. 22-May 24, was inspired by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the creation of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


   

 BLAKE CONROY 

Definition of Monoculture

Pollen drifts with the wind. Where it lands and fertilizes a stamen is dictated by chance. Farmers have been at the mercy of this process throughout history. They adapted it by collecting seeds from their best plants and hoarding them for use in the next planting season. This is how humans have domesticated plants. This process is under threat from new technologies. The courts in the United States have sided with large agricultural companies against the farmer. They have decided, against precedence, that there are some genes that are patentable. When the wind blows pollen from a neighbor’s field, a farmer can’t keep his seed and plant it the next year. It probably contains some genes that are someone else’s property. He risks everything because Big Ag has a track record of aggressive litigation.

My artwork “Definition of Monoculture” is about this struggle, big gov’t and multi national corps with their oversized influence vs what is good for everyone on the planet. It is also about the idea that every life is unique. Each plant in a cornfield is a unique individual. Each has a unique genetic makeup. Each has only one chance at life. Can we trust control of this to just a few companies rather than our heritage? Scientists believe people living in central Mexico started developing corn at least 7000 years ago. They developed it from a plant called teosinte. Should Monsanto have a strangle hold on corn seed because it modified the genes of this ancient crop?

Swallowtail

The Swallowtail Butterfly is a delicate creature. It is also still relatively common. So common in fact that it is mostly overlooked, except by small children. I decided to take a closer look at a single swallowtail butterfly simply because they are so often overlooked. This is a portrait of a single individual. It shows all the uniqueness of this butterfly including the wing damage it has suffered during its short but unique life. We all only get one chance at life and we should respect this is one another and not just our own species.


 

  

Lynne Parks, (left) Bird/glass collision site: 20 S Charles St.56 birds, archival print, (middle) 1 day: American Woodcocks, archival print, (right) White-throated Sparrow song sonogram:O Sweet Canada Canada Canada, drawing

LYNNE PARKS

Lynne Parks is the Outreach Coordinator for the bird conservation and wildlife rescue organization, Lights Out Baltimore (LOB), and volunteers for Patterson Park Audubon.

In addition to educational outreach and assisting with the installation of bird-friendly window treatments, she’s one of several LOB volunteers who monitor downtown Baltimore for bird/window collisions during migration.

On Nov. 3, 2019, Lynne and her walking partner, Aaron Heinsman, found fifty-one dead birds and five rescues in two and a half hours in one small area of the city. It was the worst monitoring day they’d experienced. Native sparrows are the majority of birds found in the fall, and Lynne’s data specific work reflects this. It includes photography, drawing, and a grid of the labels LOB uses to record data.

 

Lynne Parks, 56 birds, 1 day: White-throated Sparrow, Bird Tags

Three photographs show some of the birds we found that day, and one photograph shows a deadly building where some of them died. Glass shows either a clear pathway to a bird, or reflects vegetation, which appears real. As many as a billion birds die annually from window collisions in the United States. It’s one of the leading causes of bird mortality.

Lynne is a recipient of the 2013 Mary Sawyers Baker Award and MSAC Individual Artist Award in Visual Arts: Photography, 2018.


   

Janet Little Jefers, (left) Painted Wash, (middle) detail of painted wash, (right) Scissure, Archival Pigment Prints

JANET LITTLE JEFFERS

Janet Little Jeffers is an Annapolis/Baltimore-based artist specializing in digital photography. With a background in graphic design and interior design, and a lifelong fascination with travel and exploration, she explores intimate and abstract details in the natural and manmade worlds, particularly decaying manmade subjects as nature slowly reclaims them. She seeks beauty and the unexpected in the overlooked, the mundane, or the eyesore. As she explores these visual worlds, the lines often blur between the micro and the macro, the natural and the manmade. It is a reminder of how interwoven we humans are with our environment, and the vulnerability of our natural surroundings as well as our manufactured creations: ultimately, the forces of nature have the power to transform—or unmake—every object forged by humankind.

 

Interruption: Grand Staircase Escalante

I have returned numerous times to the region of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the southern Utah desert, attracted by the remote lesser-known charms of the area, from slot canyons and petrified wood to colorful badlands. In 2017, a presidential proclamation slashed the national monument in half, slicing it into portions and removing protections for the much of the area. The once-continuous stretch of protected habitat—allowing many animals to roam freely—is now broken up by the monument’s division. In addition, the monument is home to an a bee hotspot — 660 species of bees live in the area due to its diversity of flowers. The region also contains significant ruins and areas of importance to Native American tribes, as well as sites of paleontological discovery, including dinosaur fossils over 75 million years old, and the discovery of a new tyrannosaur species in 2013. Ultimately, the excluded areas of the monument could see dramatic changes through development and mining activities, as nearly 700,000 acres of newly unprotected land could now be open to mining of coal and minerals, as well as oil and gas drilling.

My recent visual explorations of the area have focused on themes of interruption and vulnerability. For more information on how you can help protect and preserve the interests of the monument, visit gsenm.org or grandcanyontrust.org.


 

 

Hugh Pocock, One thing Constantly Changing, photograph and Installation

HUGH POCOCK

Hugh Pocock is a full time faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and is the founding coordinator of the Concentration in Sustainability and Social Practice. He has been the MICA PALS Fellow since 2010.

Pocock’s work inhabits the space where the “natural” and the” technological” are inseparable. Organic materials, such as water, air, salt, wood and earth and the processes of labor and industry are the platforms on which Pocock’s work are built. The history and metaphor of the human relationship to natural resources, time and energy are among the issues Pocock investigates in his sculptures, installations, performances and videos.

 

One thing, Constantly Changing

One thing, Constantly changing is an installation addressing the rapid decline of polar ice that is currently underway. The work explores our connectivity to the planet using the gallery as a demonstration site for how the dynamics of heat and water are responding and adapting to our human activity.

"The Arctic ice cap is melting. Our behavior is warming the planet and causing a massive redistribution of water. In this bowl is melted Arctic ice. It was collected near Barrow, Alaska. The heat in the room is causing the water to evaporate. The heat is generated by burning natural gas and coal. Now the molecules of this Arctic ice are in this room, you are breathing them. Some of the water will rise as vapor, and join the formation of clouds. The clouds will blow across the country, forming and changing. Along the way, some of the water will fall as rain." - Pocock


 

 

Peter Stern, (left) Alluvial II and (right) EscarpmentAerial Photography 

PETER STERN

Mine Lands to Marshes: Aerial Photography by Peter Stern

In his series Mine Lands to Marshes, Peter Stern presents his aerial images of coal mining in Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River, and the Chesapeake Watershed, bringing these areas together to tell the story of their interconnectedness as a regional ecology, presented through Stern’s aesthetic eye for composition and beauty.

In these images viewers see the Mid-Atlantic from a unique and intimate perspective. Flying low, slow, and alone in his small airplane over the coal mines of Pennsylvania and the coastal landscapes of the lower Eastern Shore, he conveys an intimacy with his subjects that echoes his deep personal connection to the region.

 

Peter Stern, (left) 4974 and (right) Carbon, Aerial Photography

Flying between 500 and 800 feet above his subjects, and shooting primarily in “bird’s-eye” perspective, Stern discovered that he could create compositions with minimal reference to recognizable objects. These images occupy a place between the abstract and the representational, which he refers to as “Third Spaces.” As his preferred subject matter, these are not the sweeping vistas of natural splendor or the designed and manicured landscapes often seen in aerial photography. Rather he interprets the “in-between” spaces: the unusual and overlooked landscapes that provide deep visual intrigue.


 

  

BRIDGET PARLATO 

Bridget Parlato is a designer/artist/activist in Baltimore and sole proprietor of a freelance graphic design business, Full Circuit Studio and Baltimore Trash Talk, an anti-trash initiative. Her cause-related work is designed to raise awareness of our impact on the earth, our water systems, the animal world and each other.

The Cigarette Planet / Think About Your Butt Campaign

Baltimore activist Stephanie Compton approached BTT/FCS to create art from trash for the Baltimore Figment Festival. Together, Ms. Compton and Ms. Parlato collected cigarette butts from Baltimore streets and Parlato created the Cigarette Planet - emphasizing that butts are the most littered item on the planet.

On Earth Day 2020, Baltimore Trash Talk will team with Waterfront Partnership and Baltimore City to launch the Think About Your Butt Litter Campaign along areas of the harbor waterfront in downtown Baltimore. The graphics will accompany Terra Cycle cigarette butt recycling containers.

 

Keep it Neat from Stoop to Street

In hopes of a city-wide litter campaign in Baltimore city, Baltimore Trash Talk/Full Circuit Studio (BTT/FCS) created the “Keep it Neat from Stoop to Street” campaign. Street-level response to this concept has been 100% positive. Finding funding has not been possible. The concept has been limitedly used by the Southwest Partnership to beautify their 8 neighborhoods in southwest Baltimore. The posters feature actual southwest residents, highlighting people known to regularly clean their blocks.

The campaign bypasses the “Don’t Litter” approach and instead focuses on the “Do” aspects of cleaning up: joining together, create community while creating cleaner streets, and mutually care for the public places.

Concept, copy and design by Baltimore Trash Talk/Full Circuit Studio. Photography by Zizwe Allette.


 

  

JANET MAHER 

The name of the Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean Earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet are interconnected, affecting each other as if one organism, as many ancient spiritual traditions have taught. With the planet now, tragically, fully immersed in the Anthropocene Epoch, I choose to create artworks that abstractly reflect my ruminations about humans’ impact upon the earth and the environment’s health in relation to that of her inhabitants. I typically begin with “non-art-worthy” or otherwise conventionally rejected materials, then work formally with them in an attempt to reach what I consider to be a beautiful result. I hope that enough ambiguity remains such that others can find personal meanings/connections to my images and that the alchemy of intentional artmaking may help the situation.

The Gaia series grew from vestiges of demos I did for courses I was teaching. Back in my studio, through a series of processes and mixed media techniques, I explored the edges at which my results could be interpreted from either micro or macro perspectives.


Blake Conroy, Swallowtail, laser-cut paper

 BLAKE CONROY 

The Swallowtail Butterfly is a delicate creature. It is also still relatively common. So common in fact that it is mostly overlooked, except by small children. I decided to take a closer look at a single swallowtail butterfly simply because they are so often overlooked. This is a portrait of a single individual. It shows all the uniqueness of this butterfly including the wing damage it has suffered during its short but unique life. We all only get one chance at life and we should respect this is one another and not just our own species.


 

 

Andrea Huppert,  Uprooted series, Mixed Media

ANDREA HUPPERT 

My dad was an educator, athlete, outdoors man, and conservationist and was the catalyst for my deep love and reverence of nature. I spent much of my childhood at his side fishing, camping, boating and hiking while learning valuable lessons about our environment along the way.

After moving to beautiful Cromwell Valley in Baltimore County, I became distraught after watching a steep hillside being denuded for a housing development. I become more politically aware that year but could not stop a development that had already been approved. Two years later, I became more politically involved as a Community Activist to address the clear cutting of trees by BGE on Cromwell Bridge Road, a state-designated Scenic Byway. The battle, which lasted for almost five years, included Senate hearings and numerous meetings with BGE, State legislators, community members and other environmental organizations. Eventually BGE agreed to re-plant ‘manageable’ vegetation as mitigation for habitat loss and hillside erosion. They also agreed to notify residents in advance of their plans to cut trees on private properties (which they have a federally mandated right to do) that border electrical transmission lines. I’ve found it can require a passionate battle with “the powers that be” to try and protect our natural resources.

  

Andrea Huppert, Details from Uprooted series, Mixed Media

Uprooted

In my mixed media works I often incorporate visually symbolic natural imagery. Twigs, nests and birds, among colors and abstract forms that allude to opposing forces, constant change and the tentative nature of our landscapes.

This series of paintings was done after collecting unearthed and torn tree roots following construction “repairs” completed by Baltimore City on their property surrounding Loch Raven Dam. I live on a lane that is partially shared with the city as an access route for dam maintenance. Needless to say, I have frequently been at odds with them as well, for their lack of environmental stewardship.


 

 

Tina Hinojosa, Number 1 and Number 2, Silicon, sterling silver found plastic, fishing rope, dish soap

TINA HINOJOSA 

Mass production of plastic began about 60 years ago. Every 15 years, the amount of plastic produced doubles. We are currently producing about 300 million tons of plastic per year. Plastic can take an estimated 400 years to deteriorate, therefore most of the plastic produced still exists. Only 9% is recycled. What is not recycled ends up in landfills or pollutes our land and waterways and eventually ends up in the ocean.

I enjoy working with plastic and other recycled materials because it allows me to take some of these items out of the waste stream. While researching my next project, I found Plastic Oceans released by the United Nations, I was inspired to contact Dr. Jennifer Lavers in Tasmania for more information. Dr. Lavers has dedicated her life to studying the effects of plastic ocean pollution on the Flesh-footed Shearwaters on Lord Howe Island. Currently, 100% of expired chicks examined have plastic in their bellies. Dr. Lavers was nice enough to send me some plastic from the chicks’ stomachs. Originally, I planned to make something from that material, but I had a very visceral reaction when I received it. The items felt like treasures too sacred to alter and that they had a message of their own to send. This work, however, was created in response to this experience.

 

Each piece is slush cast in silicone and filled with one of the items in the top 12 of the Ocean Conservancy’s “Threat Rank Report,” published each year. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the pieces, even take them down and put them on.

The pieces are named according to their place on the Ocean Conservancy Threat Rank Report (most frequently found plastic items in the ocean)


 

  

Bridget Parlato, (left) Pollinators & Pesticides Series, (middle) Pollinators & Pesticides:Bird 2 - Dead bird and and Neonicotinoid Molecule, (right) detail of Dead bird, graphite and colored pencil on paper

BRIDGET PARLATO

Bridget Parlato is a designer/artist/activist in Baltimore and sole proprietor of a freelance graphic design business, Full Circuit Studio and Baltimore Trash Talk, an anti-trash initiative. Her cause-related work is designed to raise awareness of our impact on the earth, our water systems, the animal world and each other.

This series of drawings focuses on the problem of neonicotinoid pesticides and pollinators. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine that act on receptors in the nerve synapse. They are toxic to insects, mammals, birds and other higher organisms. Marketed by European chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer, neonics are the most widely used insecticides both in the United States and globally.

Despite the EPA conceding the case that these pesticides harm bees and other pollinators, they still remain on the market.


  

Janet Maher, works from Gaia Series, Mixed Media Collage Drawings

JANET MAHER
The name of the Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean Earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet are interconnected, affecting each other as if one organism, as many ancient spiritual traditions have taught. With the planet now, tragically, fully immersed in the Anthropocene Epoch, I choose to create artworks that abstractly reflect my ruminations about humans’ impact upon the earth and the environment’s health in relation to that of her inhabitants. I typically begin with “non-art-worthy” or otherwise conventionally rejected materials, then work formally with them in an attempt to reach what I consider to be a beautiful result. I hope that enough ambiguity remains such that others can find personal meanings/connections to my images and that the alchemy of intentional artmaking may help the situation.

The Gaia series grew from vestiges of demos I did for courses I was teaching. Back in my studio, through a series of processes and mixed media techniques, I explored the edges at which my results could be interpreted from either micro or macro perspectives.

 

For an arts organization built around in-person, shared experiences, this is a challenging time. Like many of you, we are actively thinking about how to support our artists, friends, neighbors and businesses that make our world such a joy to be a part of. We hope you keep the arts high on your priority list as you contemplate how you can help. With that in mind, one of the groups that will be hardest hit during this period are the small, local, restaurants and merchants in our community.

We have created a way for you to support them while also supporting the arts.

Please consider purchasing a gift card or gift certificate from your favorite local restaurant or merchant and then donating that gift card to Maryland Hall. We will integrate the donation into the silent auction at our annual Arts Alive celebration this September 11, 2020.

Your money will go to work right away in our community AND will help Maryland Hall raise needed funds in the future.

To participate, simply send your gift card or certificate to Maryland Hall, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. Include your name, address and the gift card amount. We will send you a tax receipt for the donation. Gift cards are cash equivalent donations and thus tax-deductible when donated to a non-profit.

Businesses to Support (just a starting point!):

  • Restaurants
  • Boutiques
  • Gyms & fitness studios
  • Bed & breakfasts
  • Local hotels
  • Hair salons & spas
  • Coffee shops & cafes 
  • Art stores 
  • Local furniture & houseware shops

 

More Ways to Help

We also ask that you help lift up our Resident Companies and partner organizations during this time. We all rely on each other to share the arts and none of us do it alone. Performances and events are being rescheduled and/or cancelled and hard decisions are being made as rehearsal time windows on future performances become smaller. Many of these groups rely on the income of these events to operate. If a show has been cancelled or postponed to a date you cannot attend, please consider donating your tickets to the organizations helping them sustain their revenue and allowing you to receive a tax deduction. If you didn’t have a ticket to begin with, come be a part of the audience on the new date.

A list of cancellations and postponements can be found on our website here. We will continue to keep it updated and we will share our reopening date as soon as know more. Do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@marylandhall.org with any questions.

Thank you for being a part of the Maryland Hall community. We’re here for you.

– The Maryland Hall Team

During this time of social distancing and the physical closure of our building, we want to keep sharing the arts however we can. For an arts organization dedicated to in-person, community experiences, this is challenging but we remain committed to prioritizing the health of our neighbors and preparing for the brighter days ahead.

As we pause our in-person programming, we've compiled artist interviews from our archives to share with you, all in one place:

 




















Photo by Hayley Ann-Vasco

​Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto, who has led the Ballet Theatre of Maryland for the past 17 years, has announced her retirement effective in June. The Board of Trustees has selected Nicole Kelsch to succeed her.

“We are deeply grateful for the contributions that Dianna has made during her tenure as Artistic Director,” said Board President Ted Atsinger. “She has raised the Ballet Theatre of Maryland to a higher level of professionalism and artistry. Through both the Company and the Conservatory, she has cultivated not only the dancers’ technical skills, but also their passion for the art of dance, and their understanding of how to pursue personal and professional development in the world of professional ballet. Among these excellent dancers is Nicole Kelsch, who we are pleased to announce we have selected to lead the Company upon Dianna’s retirement.”

Cuatto joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2003. Previously, she spent four seasons as the Ballet Mistress with the Richmond Ballet. Throughout her long ballet career, she has served in many roles including Artistic Director, Choreographer, Ballet Mistress, adjunct faculty, teacher, and Principal Dancer in companies and universities throughout the country.

Cuatto began her career as a professional dancer with Ballet West in 1963 where she went on to become a Principal Dancer. As a Principal Dancer, she performed a wide range of classical and contemporary roles with national companies including Sacramento Ballet, Oklahoma Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theatre, the San Francisco Chamber Ballet, and the Sangre de Cristo Ballet Theatre.

In addition, she worked in Hollywood performing for the American Music Awards, Broadway musicals, and national television, where she also choreographed the Wonderful World of the Waltz for PBS.

Cuatto is a gifted, prolific choreographer who has created more than 109 works of ballet choreography for the Ballet Theatre of Maryland during her 17-year tenure including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, An American Southwest Carmen, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Tango Dramatico, Little Women, and Excalibur - most to critical acclaim.

The final choreographic works of her tenure as Artistic Director with the Ballet Theatre of  Maryland will be presented at Innovations 2020 on April 17 and 18 at Maryland Hall in Annapolis. Immediately following the performance on April 18, you can attend the Season Grande Finale Retirement Party for Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto and honor her many contributions to the community. More information will be posted on Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s website regarding this event in February. 

Cuatto’s husband, Al Kessler, a member of the Board of Trustees will also be retiring from Board, company, and as a volunteer.

I want to give quality dance instruction and look back and feel it’s been a life well lived.” – Mary Slater

Not only did Mary teach me to tap, she taught me not to let others’ thoughts change my beliefs about myself.” – Tracy Inaldi, longtime student

Mary Slater Taps Into Our Hearts

Shared From our Winter/Spring 2020 Catalog

Mary Slater’s life as a dancer began at age four at the local fire department. She joined their majorette group and after two years began dancing at her teacher’s studio. Her path as a teacher wasn’t as clear cut. Though she started teaching in high school, she initially studied physical therapy at the University of Maryland. Mary says, “While I was in school, I was candy striping at Prince George’s Hospital. There I realized you couldn’t make everyone better and that was sad. At the same time, I was in the dance theater program at Maryland so I changed over to dance education.” Mary soon found herself creating her own places to teach. “I’m not the ‘traditional dancer’ so I had to be something unique,” she says gesturing to her 4’ 9” frame.

In the 70s, Mary’s dance journey took her to Columbia University in New York City where she studied modern dance and became immersed in the emerging tap scene. She studied under legendary Tony Award winning choreographer and dance instructor Henry LeTang. “I ended up the solo student in his tap classes because tap wasn’t popular at the time. As his Broadway career grew, the classes grew and I became one of his teachers,” Mary says.

When she wasn’t dancing with legends, she and her professional dance partner Wayne McCarthy got jobs by dancing on street corners along 5th Avenue. “Agents would put their cards in our hats and that’s how we got work. We performed in night clubs, on cruise ships and even did a show in Japan – I twirled Samoan swords in my baton days,” she says with a smile. Mary and Wayne made quite the duo; Chita Rivera herself attended their show in Japan.

Mary always had the intention to move back to Maryland with more education and experience. She discovered Maryland Hall in 1988. “I moved home to help my mom who had a knee transplant that went bad. There was an ad that Maryland Hall needed someone to do room bookings and I thought I could do that. Someone saw my resume and they offered me a teaching position,” she says. Mary never went back to New York except for visits. Before opening her own studio, Mary’s teaching circuit included MD Hall, University of Maryland and several performing arts schools in the region. “Maryland Hall has been the constant,” she says. 

When LeTang’s movie Tap starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. came out in 1989, Mary created “An Evening with the Masters of Tap” at MD Hall. She brought down the major players in Tap including LeTang, Bubba Gaines, Buster Brown and George Hillman for workshops and a show. It was a huge splash with the local paper featuring the event. After the show, Mary treated the men to a crab feast at her house. That’s when she knew MD Hall was her home. 

Over the years, Mary has taught all ages, even seeing students she taught as children come back as adults...or to sign up their own children for her class! Longtime student Tracy Inaldi says, “I met Mary 25 years ago when I was in high school. At that time, I was more of a ballet dancer. Before my first class with Mary, I warned her that other teachers told me that I’m just not a tapper. Mary laughed and lightheartedly said, ‘I’ll change that!’ Well, not only did Mary teach me to tap, she taught me not to let others’ thoughts change my beliefs about myself.” Tracy plans to enroll her toddler son in Mary’s tap class as soon as he’s old enough; he got his first taste of tap at last year’s ArtFest. “I honestly don’t know where I would be without Miss Mary. I am eternally grateful to her for the joy of dancing, the warm memories of performing, the encouragement to believe in myself, and for our friendship!”

“I try to create a family atmosphere for my dancers. I always encourage them to come back and visit after they go to college. It makes me feel good when they do because it lets me know they really enjoyed their time in the studio,” she says. A former boss once told Mary if you give to the community, they will give back to you. “I’ve always used that as my philosophy about everything and it’s been very true,” she says.

Mary’s favorite part of teaching dance is, “helping people find another means of expression and an outlet, creating a sense of joy in their life.” At MD Hall, this may apply most to her thriving Adult Jazz program. The classes offer exercise through learning and performing tap. Mary started a recent class inviting her students to join her for an upcoming anniversary screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, another flick choreographed by LeTang. As the students started a combination, ease settled into their bodies, smiles spread across their faces and joy came through their feet. Some students have danced with Mary before and their feet haven’t forgotten the steps. For others, they’re trying it for the first time. The program has grown to three levels: beginning/introductory, intermediate level 2 and level 3.

“As long as you keep challenging them and they keep learning, they continue in the program. You have to keep it fresh,” she says. Her adult students are dipping their tap shoes into the performance world, putting on shows at ArtFest and in Mary’s annual recital. Mary easily recognizes the importance of dance in all ages and skill levels. “I’ve created a sense of community. I just enjoy seeing my dancers grow into well rounded people. Dance does so much for people besides making them dancers.”

Now surpassing three decades at MD Hall, Mary says, “I’ve continued here because I like the feeling the minute you walk in the door. You see the artwork, you hear the music, you see the young and old all enjoying the arts. I think it’s wonderful that we can make the arts possible for all, not just the ones who can afford it,” she says.

Take a Class with Mary Slater this Winter/Spring:

Tap for 2: Child & Adult
Ages: 3+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (4 - 4:45pm)

First Dance I
Ages: 3-5
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (4:45 - 5:30pm)

Ballet - Tap -  Jazz
Ages: 6-9
2/3-5/4 | Mondays (5:30 - 6:15pm)

Let's Tap  
Ages: 16+
2/3-5/4 | Mondays (2:30 - 3:30pm)

Beginning Adult Tap
Ages: 16+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (6:15 - 7pm)

Adult Tap 2
Ages: 16+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (7 - 8pm)

Adult Tap 3
Ages: 16
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (8 - 9pm)

 

 

ArtyFacts is a NEW comprehensive arts integration program for young children, dedicated to teaching through, with and about the arts.  Each Mini ArtyFacts class is designed with a theme which guides the curriculum, providing pathways to learning concepts developmentally appropriate for pre-k and kindergartners. Using art, music and movement along with bilingual storytelling, yoga and creative play, children have the opportunity to develop their imagination, literacy skills and creative problem solving while engaged in a diverse, fun and safe classroom.

NOW ENROLLING FOR WINTER/SPRING 2020:

For its debut, ArtyFacts will be offered as Sampler Workshops twice a month from February through May. Parents may sign their child for any or all of the eight workshops!  View the schedule and register here.

Each class will include stories, music time, art projects, yoga, movement, and dramatic play; while also introducing beginner Spanish vocabulary through songs and stories. Bilingual teaching assistant will encourage speakers of both English and Spanish to explore creatively.

 


 

LAURA BRINO

Program Director and Lead Teacher

Laura Brino is a freelance artist and singer/songwriter who studied illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art and art education at Towson University. Currently the Outreach Coordinator at Maryland Hall, she oversees many youth programs including Jovenes Artistas,  an after school arts program that gives youth facing adversity a safe environment for self-expression, confidence and motivation to stay in school. Prior to her work at Maryland Hall, Laura worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools both as a Visual Arts Teacher as well as an Arts Integration Specialist. She is passionate about using the arts as a pathway for learning and is committed to providing dynamic programming for youth. She has presented at three national conferences about the healing power of arts.

Contact info: 410-991-3898 | lbrino@mdhallarts.org

 

ESTEFANI CASTRO

Teaching Assistant and Bilingual Lead

“My name is Estefani Castro. I am 19 years old. I graduated from Annapolis High School in 2017. I plan to go back to AACC and earn my Associates in Child Development. I began attending JA (Jovenes Artistas) in middle school up through the end of high school. When I first heard about the art program I decided to check it out since I never participated in any other after school programs. As a young teenager I was going through so many changes and sometimes I didn’t know how to deal with them but with JA I was able to express myself through art. It definitely kept my mind busy from having depressing thoughts. JA created a sense of belonging. It was like a second home. I had the chance to make new friends and work with them on awesome projects and for that I am very grateful. JA has helped me become a better person and   It helped me realize what my purpose in life is, which is to help kids and lead them through the right path."


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New Guitar Workshops with Professional Musician Bryan Ewald

Annapolis’ own Bryan Ewald is a musician that is difficult to pigeon hole. While constantly juggling multiple bands and projects of his own throughout his career (currently Starbelly, Jarflys, Meg & Bryan, Technicolor Motorhome, among others), and regularly working with many of the area’s finest artists (Eric Scott, Higher Hands, Doug Segree, Dan Haas, Brandon Hardesty & Bumpin Uglies, Greg Phillips, and many more...), he’s also an in demand "guitar for hire" for dozens of regional and national artists.

Bryan has been hired for live and/or studio work by over 150 artists as diverse as: Rachael Yamagata, Judd & Maggie, Pat Dinizio (Smithereens), Bobby Vega (Tower of Power, Santana, Sly Stone), Warren Zanes (Del Feugos), Walking Sticks (SHAED), Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Shane Gamble, Mary Prankster, Pressing Strings, The Temptations (Damon Harris), David Cassidy, The Supremes, Bibi Bourelly, Kelly Bell Band, Yvonne Elliman, Thelma Houston, Mama Jama, David Pack (Ambrosia), Rita Coolidge, Native Run, Stephen Bishop, and countless others. 

For 30 years, he’s been an equally sought after instructor. Due to performing and travel schedules, he’s always had limited teaching availability…until now! We are excited to partner with Bryan to grow his offerings with a series of NEW guitar workshops. Twice a month, Bryan will offer one-time workshops ranging from Guitar 101 for beginners to Intervals and Scales for intermediate/advanced players. The sessions are designed as drop-in workshops or as a flexible series.

An artist with PRS Guitars since 2005, Bryan is also the primary demonstrator and clinician for the prestigious brand. Since 2012, PRS Guitars has utilized his skills for YouTube product videos and live demonstrations and clinics all over the world. He is one of the lead instructors of the Maryland Hall & PRS 2nd Annual Interactive Camp for Aspiring Museums.

When he’s not on the road or playing with one of the bands listed above, he can be found close to home doing solo gigs or performing with his two talented sons.

Now, YOU can join him in class!

2020 Schedule: 

Sessions for Ages 12 & Up |  Sessions for Ages 16 & Up 

The Naval Academy Band returns to Maryland Hall to present a series of free concerts this Fall. Beginning Sunday, September 22 at 4 pm, with a Chamber Winds and Brass Ensemble Concert, the band will perform a total of four free concerts at Maryland Hall this Fall. 

"We are very pleased to be partnering once again with Maryland Hall to produce free public performances for our community by the outstanding musicians of this premier military band,” says Lt. Cmdr. Patrick K. Sweeten. "Both organizations’ dedication to the performing arts make our long-term collaborative efforts exciting for Annapolis and our region. We look forward to a continued association with Maryland Hall and are grateful for the opportunity to represent our Navy and the United States Naval Academy through upcoming performances."

Upcoming concerts at Maryland Hall include:

  • Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Navy Birthday Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 4 pm - Superintendent's Combo (Bowen Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Monday, November 11, 2019 at 7 pm - Veterans Day Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

The Naval Academy Band has been providing music for the Brigade of Midshipmen and the surrounding community since 1852. Located at the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, this premier military band offers world-class ensembles which perform a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary. Naval Academy Band concerts are free and open to the public.

Advanced reservations at marylandhall.org are recommended. For more information, contact the Maryland Hall Guest Services Team at 410-280-5640. Box office hours are Monday - Friday from 9 am – 5 pm.  For more information about the band, please visit the band’s website at usna.edu/usnaband.

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