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Executive Director's Letter - 1/30/24

How can you possibly ignore an exhibition entitled Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds, and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott? If you haven’t seen it yet (and even if you have), don’t miss the Elizabeth Talford Scott Community Celebration on Sunday, February 4.

Twenty innovative, mixed-media fiber works demonstrate Talford Scott’s belief in artmaking’s ability to offer people an opportunity to break free of social limitations, evolve new ways of communicating, and nurture dreams. Her works innovate the practice of quilting by incorporating unconventional objects such as stones, buttons, and sequins in heavily layered surfaces. Among the highlights of this exhibition is Grandfather’s Cabin/Noah’s Ark (1993–96), an exquisite story quilt that recalls memories of the cabin Talford Scott’s grandfather built on Blackstock Plantation in South Carolina. George Cisle’s curation and partnerships set a new standard in accessibility for museums across the country.

The exhibition also has tentacles into the community driven by Scott’s work and earlier exhibitions. No Stone Left Unturned: The Elizabeth Talford Scott Initiative brings together five museums and four university sites across Baltimore City for a reunion of artist Scott’s work. Students from the participating colleges—Coppin State University, Johns Hopkins University, MICA, and Morgan State University—worked on a presentation of Talford Scott’s work for their gallery spaces and organized a free public program. Under the guidance of 2023-24 Exhibition Design Seminar Instructor Deyane Moses, the students determined the curatorial direction of their presentation, drawing out connections to each organization’s collection, space, history, and/or audience. Exhibitions and explorations are also opening at The Peale; the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture; The Walters Art Museum; The Maryland Center for History and Culture; Decker Gallery at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); the George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries; JELMA, James E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan State University; and the Cary Beth Cryor Gallery at Coppin State University.

We are also looking forward to the exhibition: Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams, a 50-year career retrospective of artist Joyce J. Scott, one of the most significant artists of our time and a Baker Artist Awardee.

As another reminder, registration closes this Thursday, February 1 for Maryland Arts Day, taking place on Tuesday, February 13. Organized by Maryland Citizens for the Arts, it is the largest annual gathering of arts professionals in Maryland. With more than 500 participants representing every county in the state and Baltimore City, this statewide arts advocacy event connects artists, educators, administrators, volunteers, and trustees with lawmakers from every legislative district in Maryland. Your participation is needed to show strong support for the arts and its impact on the economic and cultural vitality of the state. Details and registration can be found here.

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