I'm Omari Russell, Urban Arts Leadership Program fellow and a blossoming advocate for underrepresented peoples. I was matched with the Walters Art Museum and am assisting with building art history curriculums for museum visitors.
My placement at the Walters Art Museum has complimented my talents and interests in a beneficial manner. My primary task is to execute research on various pieces in Walters’ collection and devise ways in which they will be culturally, historically, and artistically relevant to the exhibit set to debut at One West Mount Vernon Place in May 2018. In essence, I am devising ways in which museum can learn about and relate to 19th century Baltimore through art and art activities. In carrying out this research I have learned a great deal about the history of Baltimore, various cultures throughout the world, and how to carefully analyze art and derive subtle intentions by the artist. This work has certainly strengthened my critical thinking and analytical skills. As a history major at Morgan State University and a working musician, the Walters has offered me an invaluable opportunity to exercise my array of talents and passions. I am now working as a colleague with some of my mentors at Morgan State as a result of my placement. I have also had the opportunity to participate in auxiliary community projects which the Walters is apart of. I have been granted the space to contribute my ideas to an initiative, among art organizations, that prioritizes equity in art spaces in Baltimore. Therefore, my placement at the Walters Art Museum has given me the best shot at fulfilling the initiatives of UALP.
Omari Russell is an aspiring historian and advocate. He is a graduating senior at Morgan State University and he will be obtaining his undergraduate degree in history. In the fall, he will be attending Aberystwyth University in Wales in pursuit of an MA in International Politics. His long-term goals include attending law school so that he may practice civil rights or international law. Omari is also a professional musician. He currently plays saxophone for the Columbia-based soul/funk band, Soultet.