BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas. For a more comprehensive perspective, check the BmoreArt Calendar page, which includes ongoing exhibits and performances, and is updated on a daily basis.

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Tis the Season: 20 Best Local Handmade Holiday Craft Shows in Baltimore
by Rachel Bone

<><><><><><><><>Cohesion Theatre Company Presents “Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play”
Thursday, November 30th : 8pm | Opening Night

“The Fallout Shelter” at United Evangelical Church
923 South East Avenue :: 21224

Nov. 30 – Dec. 17, 2017
Fridays – Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 4pm
Tickets $20, or $15 for Students and Seniors

Cohesion Theatre Company is proud to announce the second production of their 2017/18 theatrical season, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, an exploration of survival, memory, and storytelling set it a nuclear wasteland of the future. Lance Bankerd will direct this inventive and extraordinary piece. The New York Times said “Anne Washburn’s downright brilliant Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas…. It has depths of feeling to match its breadth of imagination.”

“We travel in three acts from a few days from now, to seven years into the post electric world, and finally the year 2099 when our culture has informed a ritual opera experience based on The Simpsons episode, ‘Cape Feare’,” director Lance Bankerd explains. The “Fallout Shelter” at United Evangelical Church, which has served as the home for Cohesion productions since 2016, will be transformed into Earth in the very near future. Then 7 years after that. Then 75 years after that, as the play moves through it’s three acts. Audiences will be challenged to change their perspective — literally — as the performance moves through time and space within the theater itself. Over the course of the play’s three acts and three-quarters of a century time span, casual storytelling evolves into theater, theater evolves into ritual, and one Simpsons episode evolves into a myth and legend for a post-apocalyptic world.

Mr. Burns explores the roles of memory, storytelling, and pop culture in a dystopic future where the mass failure of nuclear power plants has left humanity in the dark. Stories the survivors tell by the fireside are no longer tales of survival and struggle, but memories of television programs from yesterday that serve as distraction from their desperate state. Over time we see those simple retellings form into the artistic expression and community building structure of a society climbing out of the rubble, with a certain cartoon family taking center stage. Author Anne Washburn explains in her introduction for the play that for years she had wondered, “What would happen to a pop culture narrative pushed past the fall of civilization.”

“We really love this piece,” says Cohesion Artistic Producer, Brad Norris. “As an expression of our Season 4 theme: E Pluribus Unum, it is an exciting look at what forms the core of our storytelling nature as people. How we cope, and how we rebuild, and how we come together in the face of disaster and heartbreak. But also how pop culture and simple shared experiences can leave an impression on us that is powerful and that can ultimately be transformative and connective.”

<><><><><><><><>Nature:Healing:Human: A Work In Progress by Erika Larsen | Reception
Thursday, November 30th : 6-8pm 

Full Circle Gallery
33 East 21st Street :: 21218

Renowned National Geographic photographer and fellow, Erika Larsen, presents excerpts from her latest masterpiece: Nature:Healing:Human: A Work In Progress at Full Circle Gallery in Baltimore from October 21st through January 20, 2018. Nature:Healing:Human is an ongoing exploration of the human connection to the natural world and the part nature plays in the healing process. The images are interpretations of learning from cultures that maintain deep connections and reverence for nature and how these connections reflect health, self-reliance, ritual, and language. Join us for reception and artist’s talk on Thursday November 30 from 6-8pm.

“I’ve been lucky to have had the pleasure of working closely with Erika Larsen and her amazing imagery” says Sarah Leen, Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine and Partners. “I was always struck by how deeply she invested herself in her subjects. Erika gives her whole heart to them and they return the gesture by opening their lives to her. Her place in the natural world is a gentle reminder of how we are all one, linked inexorably.”

Larsen will make a special appearance at Full Circle Gallery during the Artist’s Reception. The reception will allow aficionados and enthusiasts one on one time with the photographer, a rare opportunity to connect and ask questions.

Brian Miller, CEO of Full Circle Fine Arts and Gallery said of Larsen, “Erika’s photographic explorations are sensitive investigations and compassionate dialogues with world culture. Aside from her camera gear, she utilizes her personal passion, wonder, and a clear sense of shared humanity, to explore, interpret and represent people around the world who are living close with the cycles and systems of the natural world. This closeness and careful illumination elicits deep, transformative response within the viewer. We are thrilled to host her here at our gallery.”

<><><><><><><><>Printfest 2017 | Gallery Talk
Thursday, November 30th : 7pm 

Center for the Arts Gallery
Towson University :: Towson

<><><><><><><><>Snake Union (Chuck Bettis & David Grant /// Jones & Borax Duo
Thursday, November 30th : 8:30pm 

Normal’s Books and Records
425 East 31st Street :: 21218

SNAKE UNION is a Brooklyn based experimental electronic group consisting of Chuck Bettis (Die Trommel Fatale, Mossenek) and David Grant (Action Patrol, On A Clear Day). A duo that works in improvisational rhythmic explorations that match analog synths and digital sound processing, modular wires and max patches. By turns psychedelic, delicate, and fuzzed out, the sequenced collides with the freeform as these two soundmakers push into new realms.
www.snakeunion.bandcamp.com

CHUCK BETTIS was raised in the fertile harDCore soil, nourished within Baltimore’s enigmatic avant garde gatherings, and currently blossoming in New York’s downtown musical tribe. His unique blend of electronics and throat has led him into various collaborations with great musicians from around the globe. He has performed live with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Jamie Saft, and Afrirampo to name a few. Some of the musicians Bettis has recorded and played live with are as follows; Ikue Mori, Nautical Almanac, Audrey Chen, Yellow Swans, Toshio Kajiwara, Mick Barr, etc, plus a long history of punk bands he was in (most notably the experimental punk band Meta-matics as well as the enigmatic All Scars). Currently he is working on many of his experimental projects such as Snake Union with Dave Grant, Die Trommel Fatale with Brandon Seabrook/Marika Hughes/Eivind Opsvik/Henry Fraser/Dave Truet/Sam Ospovat, Mossenek with Mick Barr & Colin Marston, Chatterblip with Dafna Naphtali, and Pretty Clicks with Berangere Maximin, in addition to improvising, recording, or composing with an array of musicians from around the world.
www.chuckbettis.com

DAVID GRANT is a designer and musician living and working in New York City. In his personal work, the imagery and sounds of an upbringing in the American south collide with the semantic overload of international urban life. Using with analog synthesizers, field recordings, and video processing, his work channels the spacious natural energy found in rurality, along with the numinous power of historical religious material. Through the use of stark visual contrast, open-ended sound composition, and a warm density of visual and sonic dirt, the artist generates an expansive atavistic state in the audience.

<><><><><><><><>Lenore LeNoire/Joseph and the Beasts/Portfolio Day
Friday, December 1st : 7pm 

The Motor House
12o West North Avenue :: 21201

Portfolio Day is a Baltimore-based group combining synth-pop, rock and dance elements; a post religious experiment.

A 5-piece pop/rock band hailing from Baltimore, MD, Lenore LeNoire combines impactful rhythms, soaring melodies, and electronic elements to form a unique sound that supports singer Jillian Lebrun’s evocative dream-themed lyrics.

Joseph & The Beasts traffic in counter-rhythms that build from muted valleys to fevered crescendos. Shifts in time give way to sprawling valleys of fuzz-drenched keyboards, before soaring vocals erupt into a fervor-filled maelstrom.

$10 advance, $12 at the door, All ages!

Tickets here: https://www.mt.cm/portfolio-daylenore-lenoirejoseph-and-beasts

flyer by Cassandra Robbins

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Plant·sa·tion | Closing Reception + Artist Talk
Friday, December 1st : 7-10pm 

El Palacio del Sol
2400 Eutaw Place :: 21201

/plant/senˈsāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. a physical feeling or perception resulting from nature that happens to or comes into contact with the body.

  2. a widespread reaction of interest and excitement towards nature

Plant·sa·tion is a place where we illuminate the majestic natural world around us. A place to escape and reflect, lost in the deep greens of the forest and copper texture of the bare ground. Plant·sa·tion is a place we live in and a place within us.

Working together in collaboration, Ariel Foster and Erick Antonio Benitez create a multimedia installation focusing on the exploration of nature and it’s integration with man made environments. Using projections, soundscapes, light-sculptures, plants and fabricated tapestries from linocuts, Plant·sa·tion invites the viewer to reflect and examine its relation with the natural world in our own personal spaces, whether it be through the lens of technology, fashion, design, interior and exterior landscapes, and our day to day relationship with nature from food, medicine and knowledge.

El Palacio Del Sol is a nomadic pop-up space located in the cellar of a historical mansion in the heart of Reservoir Hill. In the past 5 years, this 200-year-old building has been rehabilitated and this is the first event to set off the space’s mission to showcase site-specific work in a place that pushes the boundaries of a conventional gallery setting.

Ariel Foster is a Brazilian-American artist in Baltimore and organizes workshops and pop ups. She is a recent graduate of Goucher College with a BFA in Studio Art. The artist’s research discovers untraditional methods of application onto textiles with vibrating patterns and narratives that are energetic and influenced by abstract and physical environments. Using her body pressure to print linocuts on fabric makes her process contrast with contemporary mechanical and digital practices; an aesthetic that reveals the artist’s hand and energy behind the finished work. The artist recently completed a residency in Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brazil at Casa Na Ilha, a home for artists to create site-specific work and meet and collaborate with the local residents and native islanders.

Erick Antonio Benitez (b.1988, Bronx, NY) is Salvadorian-American multidisciplinary artist, sound alchemist, and curator based in DC/Baltimore. He received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and has exhibited work in DC, Maryland, New York, Colorado, Barcelona (ES) and Timisoara (RO). His work has been reviewed by the Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, BmoreArt, What Weekly and a few publications including BmoreArt Journal + Ideas, Let’s Talk Live (WJLA), and Hyrsteria Zine Vol. 2. Benitez is also a recent recipient of the 2016 Ruby Artist Project grant and has work included in permanent private collections around the DC and Maryland area. Outside of his studio, Benitez  Co-Directs Woven Autonomo, a sonically-focused entity that curates sound art, music, and performances and collaborates with other multidisciplinary artists. His work also extends beyond the greater art world into his immediate local community, through his collaborative effort with the Greenmount Greenway Project, an ongoing series of parks collaboratively constructed in the growing Greenmount West neighborhood, in order to rebuild and rehabilitate vacant lots and create safe, inspiring, and active parks for all ages.

<><><><><><><><>Empty Bowls for Puerto Rico | Benefit
Saturday, December 2nd – Sunday, December 3rd

Baltimore Clayworks
5707 Smith Avenue :: 21209

Join us in December (2, 3, 9, 10) for Empty Bowls for Puerto Rico. Come learn how to make and decorate a ceramic bowl. We will be using prepared slabs of clay to shape our bowls, along with underglazes to add colors and decoration.

All skill levels, family friendly event! Your bowl will be donated to our empty bowls event, to be held in January to raise funds to help our friends in need.

Contribute $15 for a good cause (per person, per workshop) and enjoy a great time making and decorating ceramic bowls. Let us know how many will be coming, and on what days (Sat. Dec. 2, Sunday Dec. 3, Saturday December 9, Sunday December 10), so we can get everything ready for you. Please RSVP here 

<><><><><><><><>Ben Marcin: Structures |Gallery Talk
Saturday, December 2nd : 2pm

C. Grimaldis Gallery
523 North Charles Street :: 21201

 
C. Grimaldis Gallery is pleased to present Structures, an exhibition of new photography by Ben Marcin. This exhibition features work from the artist’s ongoing series of abstract grids that compartmentalize urban architecture into meditations on shape and form, pattern and geometry.
In the vein of the artist’s earlier photographic essays Last House Standing, The Campsand Out West, in which static snapshots of homesteads often stand as markers for larger forces at work in American culture, Structures evokes uncharacteristic emotional depth from the benign constructions which surround us. Expounding on Marcin’s characteristic documentary style in which multiple photographs work together to provide a composite narrative, these portraits hone in on an array of details, cataloguing the foundational matter of buildings into compositions that transcend the nature of their subjects.
Marcin foregrounds particular buildings that have shaped his experience as a photographer: auditoriums, parking lots, industrial parks, barely-lit stairwells in Ocean City condominiums. Five works are titled after museums; they are composed of close-up glimpses of ceilings, HVAC vents, corners and design features in institutions built to elevate art. Marcin turns the museum in on itself, creating art out of the buildings that surround it. These works archive feeling and order via area, place and color, bearing witness to the ways in which the structures we live among design our experiences of space and meaning.
Ben Marcin is a self-taught photographer who lives and works in Baltimore. He has exhibited nationwide in galleries and venues including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, The Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center For Fine Art Photography (Ft. Collins, CO) and the Houston Center for Photography. Last House Standing and The Camps have received wide press both nationally and abroad (The Paris Review, iGnant, La Repubblica, Slate, Wired Magazine). Structures is the artist’s second solo exhibition at C. Grimaldis Gallery.