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CURATOR NIGHT: Bridging the Disability and Arts Communities
October 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join The Arc Baltimore and a panel of prominent art leaders on Wednesday, October 13 at 7 pm for a discussion about ensuring that access is always part of the DEAI (diversity, equity, access & inclusion) conversation, particularly in the art community.
Panelists will expound on their curated artwork for The Arc’s Art in the Round event featuring artwork created by artists with disabilities. In addition, they will share the DEAI initiatives at their respective institutions.
Both live transcription and an ASL interpreter will be available.
Myrtis Bedolla, Galerie Myrtis, Director
Myrtis Bedolla is the owner and founding director of Galerie Myrtis, an emerging blue-chip gallery and art advisory specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century American art with a focus on work created by African American artists. Bedolla possesses over 30 years of experience as a curator, gallerist, and art consultant.
Established in 2006, the mission of the gallery is to utilize the visual arts to raise awareness for artists who deserve recognition for their contributions in artistically portraying our cultural, social, historical, and political landscapes; and to recognize art movements that paved the way for freedom of artistic expression.
Bedolla has recently gained national press in the New York Times article “Black Gallerists Press Forward Despite a Market That Holds Them Back” in June 2020 and authored “Why My Blackness is not a Threat to your Whiteness” in Cultured Magazine in July 2020. Past coverage also includes being voted Best Gallery by the Baltimore Sun in 2017; “Black Art in the Spotlight,” Baltimore Magazine, September 2018; “Living with Art: Myrtis Bedolla Builds a Home and Gallery in Old Goucher,” BMORE Art, Issue 3; “Women in the Arts which honored women at the helm of the Baltimore art scene,” Baltimore Style Magazine, October 2013.
Bedolla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, University College, received her curatorial training at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, and earned on-line certificates in Cultural Theory for Curators and Curatorial Procedures from the Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Berlin, Germany.
Photo Credit: Image courtesy photographer Grace Roselli, “Pandora’s BoxX Project”, #graceroselli, #pandorasboxxproject
Kibibi Ajanku, GBCA, Urban Arts Leadership Director, and Equity and Inclusion Director
Kibibi Ajanku is an independent curator based in Baltimore, Maryland. Ajanku has traveled the African Diaspora to study, teach, perform, and exhibit with many masters, and is the Founding Mother of the Baltimore-based Sankofa Dance Theater, a group that continues to share joyous spirit by bringing music, movement and folkways together in layered, interlocking patterns.
Ajanku believes that when exhibited properly, art is the perfect vehicle to inspire authentic dialogue in an effort to move forward into greater intercultural awareness for the global community. As a result, her curatorial projects encompass an ever-growing body of exploratory research, image-making, and exhibition-making. She often uses the exhibition space to emphasize relationships between historical occurrences and lived history. Themes of identity, perseverance, preservation, communication, and study are woven throughout each exhibition that she presents.
Kibibi Ajanku curates and holds space as the Resident Curator for Douglass-Myers Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Ajanku is a faculty member for the Fine Arts Department at Coppin State University and additionally serves as a Resident Artist/Educator for Maryland Institute College of Art Fibers Department. Furthermore, Ajanku is excited to investigate community engagement through the evolution of a new Urban Arts Field School project with emerging leaders of color and community folklorists, recently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ajanku attended Morgan State University and received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art. As the Bearman Gallery Curator-In-Residence for the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Museum (part of the Living Classrooms Foundation), some of her notable exhibitions include: Indigo Magic (2016); Locations (2017); Frederick Douglass (2018, 2019); NonToxic Masculinity (2018); Music by Poncho (2019); WeChoose! (2019); Espi Frazier Solo Show (2019, 2020); Freedom Train (2021).
George Ciscle, MICA, Curator-in-Residence, Emeritus
George Ciscle has mounted groundbreaking exhibitions and taught courses in the fine arts and humanities for close to 50 years. He was the founder and director of The Contemporary, an “un-museum,” which challenges existing conventions for exhibiting art in temporary non-traditional sites.
From 1997 – 2017 he served as Curator-in-Residence at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), consulting on the development of community-based and public programming concentrating on exploring new models for connecting art, artists, and audiences. At MICA Ciscle also founded and directed the Exhibition Development Seminar, Curatorial Studies Concentration, and MFA in Curatorial Practice.
Samuel Hoi, MICA, President
Samuel Hoi is the president of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He is an experienced and innovative higher education leader, and an advocate for art and design education and creative professionals as drivers in social, economic, and cultural advancement.
At MICA, he has ushered in its creative entrepreneurship efforts, steered its mission and vision re-articulation and college-wide DEIG (diversity, equity, inclusion, and globalization) initiative. As president of Otis College of Art and Design for 14 years from 2000-2014, he shepherded the Creative Action curriculum that places art and design education in real life and community context. He also launched the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, which was expanded statewide in California. While serving as dean of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., he created a visual arts program serving inner-city youth that received a Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Hoi received his BA from Columbia College in New York City, his JD from Columbia Law School, and his AAS degree in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. Hoi is a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Otis College of Art and Design; decoration by the French government as an Officer of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques; and the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship that recognizes U.S. artists and cultural leaders at the forefront of social change.
Amy Cavanaugh Royce, Maryland Art Place, Executive Director
Amy Cavanaugh has been a Baltimore City resident since 2004 taking her role as Executive Director at Maryland Art Place (MAP) in January 2012. Within her first years at MAP, Amy worked closely with the Board of Trustees, Staff and Program Advisory Committee to more broadly engage the Maryland statewide arts community, and to amplify the organization’s program initiatives. In 2014 Amy steered MAP back to its original home, a 20,000 square foot facility housing a variety of creative businesses and individual artists. Under her leadership MAP now has expanded its services beyond the visual arts and has fast become a cultural hub in the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District. Prior to her work at MAP, Amy was the Vice President and COO of ARCH Development Corporation in Washington, DC where she was most notably known for co-founding Honfleur Gallery. Amy is an accomplished cellist, native Washingtonian, and Alumni of the Catholic University of America.
Photo Credit: E. Brady Robinson
KIrk Shannon-Butts, BOPA, Public Art and Curation Manager
Kirk Shannon-Butts is a Public Arts Administrator, Curator, and Filmmaker dedicated to emerging and underrepresented talent throughout the spectrum of arts and media. Shannon-Butts holds a BA in Marketing & Arts Management from The American College, and an MFA in Communication with a focus in Film/TV Production from Chapman University, located in Orange, California.
He comes to Baltimore City from Harlem NYC, where he currently serves as the Public Art & Curation Manager for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts (BOPA) overseeing the Baltimore City’s vast Art Collection, the 1% For Art initiative, and curating BOPA’s portfolio of art spaces including The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, School 33, and Top of the World. Shannon-Butts served as the Curator for The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall where he showcased and championed unsung Baltimore based artists Schroeder Cherry and Ernest Shaw; emerging visionaries as Monica Ikegwu, Kei Ito, Monsieur Zohore, and Amani Lewis; rising talents LaToya Hobbs and Eric Antonio Benitez, and courted Baltimore born art world superstar, Derrick Adams, amplifying the Baltimore City’s art scene on the national and global arena.