Introducing BmoreArt’s New Managing Editor, Rebekah Kirkman, and Suzy Kopf, Director of Distribution and Marketing

In the past decade, BmoreArt has gone through several growth cycles, graduating from an informal community-based blog into an online and print magazine with a robust team of contributors. Since 2007, our goal has been to offer an authentic connection to Baltimore’s rich cultural ecosystem and to build relationships between individuals, arts organizations, institutions, and the general public through creative and critical storytelling. In the past few years, BmoreArt has provided consistent coverage for the arts and culture in the region, employment for artists and arts writers, beautiful biannual print journals, and hosted a variety of events.

Our growth in a rapidly shrinking media landscape has been gradual and organic, and we have welcomed new challenges and opportunities to expand and improve what we do. At a certain point, growth requires an infrastructure to successfully maintain and support it, and we are proud to be at a place where we can hire our first two full-time employees: Rebekah Kirkman as Managing Editor and Suzy Kopf as the Director of Distribution and Marketing. Both will begin their new positions on Feburary 1, 2019 and will work out of BmoreArt’s office space at The Motor House on North Avenue.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity, to build a BmoreArt team with these smart, talented, and experienced individuals,” says Founding Editor and Publisher Cara Ober. “Until now we have been working exclusively with part-time staff and an extensive freelance team. With the addition of these two new roles, we will be able to expand our media presence, both in print and online, and to cover more of the arts and culture in Baltimore.” Ober will continue in her role as publisher, editor-in-chief, and writer but will focus on the print magazine and events, while Kirkman will assume editorial control over the online magazine. The new team will work collaboratively with BmoreArt’s existing staff members, with Events and Calendar Manager Rebecca Juliette smoothly running the online calendar and weekly events listings and A.F. Oehmke continuing to write the popular weekend column, The Internet is Exploding.

“I am super excited that BmoreArt is expanding, and thankful that I get to be a part of this small, hardworking team,” says Kirkman. “I’m looking forward to working with new writers and publishing even more critical coverage of the arts, particularly the lesser-known, DIY/artist-run, independent spaces and projects.”

Kirkman grew up in Seminole, Florida, then moved to Baltimore in 2010 to study painting at MICA. She became an editorial intern at the Baltimore City Paper in 2013, and then as a regular freelancer. She earned her BFA in 2014. Later that year, City Paper hired her as an arts writer, fact-checking coordinator, and intern manager. She eventually became the visual arts editor, too, and wrote criticism, essays, and profiles, extensively covering various social concerns surrounding the arts, including the reported essay “Abuse and Accountability in the Arts Scene: A Reckoning,” co-written with Maura Callahan. After the Baltimore City Paper shut down in 2017, she freelanced for the Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Fishbowl, The Outline, and BmoreArt, among others.

Suzy Kopf, Rebekah Kirkman and Cara Ober at BmoreArt’s Connect + Collect event
at Motor House on January 24, 2019. Photo by Jill Fannon.

 

Suzy Kopf is originally from California, and came to Baltimore after living in New York for several years. Kopf moved to Baltimore in 2014 to finish her MFA in Studio Arts at MICA. She is also a graduate of the New School University with a BA in Art History and a BFA in Fine Arts. During her years in New York she worked at a number of galleries and arts nonprofits, including Barbara Gladstone Gallery and Art21, where she accumulated a vast range of art world experiences.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the magazine to new audiences throughout Baltimore and beyond it,” says Kopf. “There’s so much excellence here to be celebrated. I want to be a resource for artists and arts organizations: if that’s you, please reach out with your ideas!”

In addition to her freelance writing for BmoreArt, she has taught painting and museum studies at MICA, Johns Hopkins University, and Anne Arundel Community College. In her career as a visual artist, she has received a number of grants, fellowships and artist residencies including the Studios at Mass MoCA, the Vermont Studio Center, and a LAB award from MICA. She co-founded Gowanus Swim Society, a Brooklyn-based art collective in 2014 and continues to exhibit regularly with that group. She has solo shows in 2019-20 at the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and IA&A Hillyer in Washington, DC.

It’s not a coincidence that all three women – Ober, Kirkman, and Kopf – are artists, bringing a creative sensibility and community-minded voice to their roles at the publication. The three will work together to strategically expand the reach and range of BmoreArt’s content over the next year and look forward to working with new collaborators, writers, and photographers, covering Baltimore’s cultural ecosystem in real time.

“The arts can connect and heal, draw out joy and thrills and astonishment and discomfort; they can also expose and challenge sociopolitical rifts—I want our writing to explore these nuances,” says Kirkman. “At a time when publications around the country (and locally) are shrinking and folding, we find ourselves in an interesting space for an arts publication especially, and I am urgently motivated to write about and document as much art as we possibly can.”

 


 

Photo of Suzy Kopf, Cara Ober, and Rebekah Kirkman by Jill Fannon

BmoreArt’s new Managing Editor and Director of Distribution and Marketing positions were made possible by generous funding by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. In addition to philanthropic support, the publication receives commercial funding through advertising and partnerships with area institutions.