In January 2021, Maryland Hall will welcome visitors to a building wide exhibition to celebrate eight diverse artists focused on activism and using the creative process to educate their audiences about diversity, equity and inclusion. The Art of Activism features the work of Maryland-based Black artists selected through a juried process in Fall 2020. The show is presented in partnership with the Banneker-Douglass Museum and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). Art of Activism opens on January 8 and runs through February 27, 2021. It is the first in-person exhibition at Maryland Hall since the Hall’s Galleries went virtual in March 2020.
“Maryland Hall is offering the Art of Activism to empower our community to face the need for change, and as a commitment to inclusivity and social justice efforts in our country, and in our own neighborhood,” says Emily Garvin, Executive Director of Maryland Hall.
“Artists have been using art to communicate societal issues including gender, race, politics and religion for generations. The Art of Activism is giving space to Black artists responding to the current societal movement around race equity by elevating their artistic work. We hope this platform will introduce the artists to new audiences providing them with long term opportunities,” says Chanel Compton, Executive Director of Banneker-Douglass Museum.
The partner organizations invited Maryland-based Black artists whose work encapsulates activism and educates viewers about social justice to send proposals to take one of the six 5 ft. x 9 ft tall Black Lives Matter banners, which hung on the front steps of Maryland Hall in Summer/Fall 2020, to use as a canvas for justice. Selected artists were asked to challenge viewers’ perception of art by using their individual banner as a platform to discuss social oppression and systemic patterns through visual or performance art. Artists were commissioned $1,000 to design and create their banners.
Aaron Maybin, Baltimore (Aaron Maybin is also a featured participant of Athletes for the Arts, an inaugural fundraiser taking place at Maryland Hall on January 27, 2021)
- Ashley Milburn, Baltimore
- David Cassidy, Upper Marlboro
- Nikki Brooks, Hyattsville
- Qrcky, Baltimore
- Schroeder Cherry, Baltimore
Additionally, Comacell Brown, Annapolis, was chosen to create work on a Black Lives Matter banner that will hang at the Banneker Douglass Museum connecting the two organization’s in the Art of Activism.
Finally, Greta Chapin McGill, whose work exemplifies ideas of black empowerment and social justice, will be showcased in the exhibit to further deepen the diversity of work and celebrate more Black voices in our Maryland community.
The artists were selected by a panel of jurors: Chanel Compton, artist and Executive Director of Banneker-Douglass Museum, Tony Spencer, artist and board member of MCAAHC, and Darin Gilliam, graphic artist and co-owner of Artfarm and Director of Annapolis Arts Week.
In addition to having their finished banners displayed on Maryland Hall’s outdoor campus, the artists will participate in a curated exhibition inside the building’s three galleries and beyond. Hand-selected protest art from private collections will complement their work.
Art of Activism opens January 8 and runs through February 27, 2021. The campus wide exhibit can be viewed at Maryland Hall located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland. Gallery Hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30-6:30 pm beginning Friday, January 8. The outdoor banners can be viewed any time. The banners and artwork displayed will be for sale. Maryland Hall members will be invited to a members only Gallery Talk during the exhibition.
For more information and updates on gallery hours, visit marylandhall.org/artofactivism.