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BOPA ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE MASB ARTIST TRAVEL PRIZE
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB) announce Elena Volkova and Jackie Milad as the recipients of the 2022 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize. These two artists will receive $6,000 each to help fund travel essential to their studio practice. The prize winners are determined by the MASB board of directors, who received 35 proposals this year.
Elena Volkova is a Ukrainian-born interdisciplinary artist, working in the medium of photography, installation, and drawing. Her current body of work follows the post-minimalist aesthetic and focuses on liminal space, bringing attention to the everyday overlooked moments. Volkova has received several recognitions and awards, including Janis Meyer Traveling Fellowship, Hamiltonian Fellowship, Vermont Studio Fellowship, and Stevenson University Faculty Research grant. Volkova’s work has been a part of Art in Embassies program and has been exhibited in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
She has also been a co-host of the photojournalism podcast, “Ten Frames per Second,” working with J.M. Giordano on a series of interviews with local and international photographers. At Hamiltonian Gallery, Volkova created a series of panel discussions, “On Drawing, Site Specificity, and Questioning Photography,” focused on contemporary art practices. She was also a producer on “Project Line 180,” a series of video interviews with local artists. She has exhibited her work regionally, nationally, and internationally. Volkova resides in Baltimore and teaches Photography at Stevenson University.
Volkova’s travel project, “Ukrainian Portraits” is a community arts project aiming to create an archive of portraits using a historic photographic process to bear witness to the Ukrainian people affected by war. Her goal is to engage the community in the creation of artifacts and facilitate an artistic experience which focuses on empowerment and healing.
Jackie Milad is a Baltimore City-based artist born to immigrant parents. Her identity as a mixed-cultural person of Egyptian-Honduran origins informs her creative practice. Growing up in a multi-ethnic and tri-lingual home was at times chaotic, yet it inspired a curiosity of history and heritage. Milad focused her studies on performance art and painting and was drawn to the work of feminist artists and identity-based artists. After graduating from art school and returning to Baltimore, Jackie sought out experimental time-based art. To this day Milad considers her large-scale painting-collage practice to be rooted in performance art and experimental practices.
Milad lives in Baltimore City with her son and artist-musician husband. She currently works full-time in the studio and serves as faculty and a mentor in the low-residency MFA program and Curatorial Practice MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art. Milad is a multi-year recipient of the Individual Artist Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. In 2019, she was named a Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Finalist and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby Grantee. Milad’s work is in the following public collections: Pizzuti Collection, GLB Memorial Foundation Collection, The Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, and Meta Inc (Facebook). Milad received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and her MFA from Towson University.
Milad will use her prize to support a research trip to London to visit the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt at The British Museum. Participating in the museum’s Study Program, she will have the unique opportunity to handle and draw antiquities from life.
About the MASB Artist Travel Prize
The seventh edition of the MASB Artist Travel Prize awards $6,000 to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living in Baltimore City. The $6,000 prize is intended to function as funding for travel essential to studio practice. The previous winners of the MASB Artist Travel Prize are Rosa Leff in 2021, Schroeder Cherry and Hoesy Corona in 2020, LaToya M. Hobbs and J.M. Giordano in 2019, Erin Fostel and Erick Antonio Benitez in 2018, Nate Larson in 2017, and Stephen Towns in 2016. The winners have traveled to Morocco, Czech Republic, Japan, Peru, throughout the United States, and to Ghana and Senegal.
About the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB)
The Municipal Art Society of Baltimore was founded in 1899 as part of the City Beautiful movement. It is one of only two remaining societies to be operating under its original charter “to provide sculptural and pictorial decoration and ornaments for the public buildings, streets and open spaces in the City of Baltimore, and to help generally beautify the City.” Artistic contributions to the City span more than one hundred years. In 2016 the MASB embarked on a path to provide new opportunities to Baltimore artists and art places within the City, including this Artist Travel Prize and an annual Public Art Prize.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, events center, and film office. By providing funding and support to artists, arts programs, and organizations across the city, and by producing large-scale events such as Artscape, Baltimore Book Festival, and Light City, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB) announce Rosa Leff as the recipient of the 2021 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize.
About the Artist
Between painting alongside my grandmother and watching my father build reproduction antique furniture, I grew up seeing no distinction between fine art and craft. What mattered was that things were made by hand and done well. It is with that in mind that I create each of my papercuts. Each papercut is cut by hand from a single sheet of paper using a knife. They are based on my original photos. I’m best known for my ability to capture thin tangles of powerlines and intricate brickwork. I delight in bringing a modern, urban perspective to a traditional folk medium.
I have served on the board of The Guild of American Papercutters (GAP) and am a member of The Paper Artist Collective. I have exhibited my work throughout the United States and in China. My work has been acquired by The Colored Girls’ Museum and The Museum of International Folk Art.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB) announce Schroeder Cherry and Hoesy Corona as recipients of the 2020 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize. Each artist receives $6,000. The prize is intended to function as funding for travel essential to an artist’s studio practice that an artist may not otherwise be able to afford. Cherry and Corona were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Due to COVID-19, BOPA and MASB will be flexible with the selected artists should travel restrictions continue further into 2021 than currently estimated. Schroeder Cherry plans to travel to Brazil and Hoesy Corona plans to travel to Mexico. The fifth annual Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize is managed by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City.
Schroeder Cherry plans for six days of travel to Salvador, Brazil to study African diaspora in paintings, murals and assemblage art. The experience would expand Cherry’s knowledge of Black images, historic and contemporary, in the city with the largest African diaspora population outside Africa. Cherry’s work depicts Black diaspora experiences in the US.
Hoesy Corona plans to travel to Yuriria, Guanajuato, Mexico and the surrounding rural town of Tierra Blanca to inform a new body of work tentatively titled “Acts of Liberation”. The series will draw from Corona's personal experiences as a queer-Mexican-immigrant to poetically consider how immigrants thrive in a new place despite their unique circumstances.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB) announce Latoya M. Hobbs and J.M. Giordano as recipients of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize. Each artist receives $6,000. The prize is intended to function as funding for travel essential to an artist’s studio practice that an artist may not otherwise be able to afford. Hobbs and Giordano were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. The fourth annual Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize is managed by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City.
Latoya Hobbs will use the award to fund travel to Marrakech, Morocco where she will conduct research to expand the recurring elements of the figure, pattern, color and texture present in her work. J.M. Giordano will use the award to support the third and final phase of the project All For Thee in Czech Republic. All For Thee is a 15 year photographic project documenting the aftermath of the steel industry in Baltimore and similar cities left behind by both Capitalist and Communist systems.
About the Artists
Latoya M. Hobbs is a native of North Little Rock, AR and currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD. She received her BA in Painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an MFA in Printmaking from Purdue University. LaToya’s work deals with figurative imagery that addresses the ideas of beauty and cultural identity. Her exhibition record includes several national and international exhibitions such as the Tulipamwe International Artists’ Exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, Prizm Art Fair, Miami, FL, Salt of the Earth at the Community Folk Arts Center in Syracuse, NY, Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body, at Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL and the Promising Artists of the 21st Century Art Exhibitionat the Sophia Wananmaker Galleries in San Jose, Costa Rica among others. LaToya’s work has also been featured in Transition: An International Review, a publication of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and was recently added to the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art. Additionally, LaToya devotes her time to teaching and inspiring young artists as a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
J.M. Giordano is an award-winning photojournalist based in Baltimore and co-host of the photojournalism podcast, 10 Frames Per Second. His work has been featured in Playboy, GQ, The Observer New Review Sunday Magazine, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, i-D Magazine, Discovery Channel Inc., and Rolling-Stone. He teaches social documentary photography at Baltimore School for The Arts. Giordano’s work, from the Struggle series, is in the permanent collections at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. In 2015, he was short-listed for the National Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Prize. A show of his work Shuttered: The Fall of Steel is currently on exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Industry and will open at the Luann Carra Gallery in September.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASB) announce Erin Fostel and Erick Antonio Benitez as recipients of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize. The MASB board of directors awarded a $6,000 prize to two Baltimore-based visual artists for 2018. Fostel and Benitez were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. The prize is intended to function as funding for travel essential to an artist’s studio practice that an artist may not otherwise be able to afford. The third annual Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize is managed by Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, and sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City.
Fostel will use the award for a three-week trip to Japan, where she will research and draw. She plans to focus on the cities of Tokyo and Hiroshima and surrounding areas. Her concentration will be on urban architecture as well as the architecture, rites and rituals of Shinto, a main religion in Japan. Benitez will use the award to conduct research on the Amazon city of Iquitos, exposing him to a vast biodiversity landscape and the native culture. The project will be a lasting source of material for his practice, including sound field recordings, video footage, photographs, drawing studies and found objects.
About the Artists
Erin Fostel was born in Baltimore, MD, where she lives and works. Her interest in drawing and storytelling led her to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004 from the art and design college. More than a decade later, Fostel continues to explore visual storytelling through drawing. In her visual art, she pushes the tonal boundaries of charcoal, which is her primary medium. The artist’s works of art have been included in local and international publications about drawing.
Erick Antonio Benitez is a Salvadoran-American multidisciplinary artist based in Baltimore, MD. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Benitez has exhibited internationally, including CONNERSMITH, Washington, DC, Baltimore Museum of Art, Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, and Metàfora Studio Arts, Barcelona, Spain, in addition to private collections. His works of art have also been reviewed by regional and national publications. The artist has been a recipient of a Ruby Artist Project grant; The Contemporary: Grit Fund 2; Y.L. Hoi Memorial Award, Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize 2018, and a residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City (MASOB) are happy to announce the recipient of the second annual Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize, Nate Larson. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, Nate will use the $6,000 award to work on his project “Centroid Towns,” a long-term photographic project documenting towns that have been the mean center (meaning the geographical point that describes a centerpoint of a region's population) of the United States. This travel grant will facilitate travel to two towns in Indiana to continue his work focusing on issues of immigration, incarceration and their relationship to national identity.
Currently based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Nate Larson is a contemporary artist working with photographic media, artist books and digital video. Most of his current artwork, research, and collaborations explore the linkage between human experience and the site on which it happened through technological, cultural, and historical threads.
His projects have been widely exhibited across the United States and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Guardian, The Picture Show from NPR, Slate, CNN, Hyperallergic, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed News, Vice Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, Hotshoe Magazine, Flavorwire, the BBC News Viewfinder, Frieze Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, APM’s Marketplace Tech Report, The Washington Post, and Art Papers. His artwork is included in the collections of High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.
“I am very grateful for the Artist Travel Prize and thank the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Municipal Art Society for their support,” said Larson. “It will empower me to work on “Centroid Towns,” a long-term social documentary project studying the cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The travel prize will fund fieldwork in two small towns in Indiana to examine the ways in which they have been affected by immigration and incarceration. The larger project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America.”
The Municipal Art Society of Baltimore was founded in 1899 as part of the City Beautiful movement. It is one of only two remaining societies to be operating under its original charter “to provide sculptural and pictorial decoration and ornaments for the public buildings, streets and open spaces in the City of Baltimore, and to help generally beautify the City.” Artistic contributions to the City span more than one hundred years. In 2016 the MASOB embarked on a path to provide new opportunities to Baltimore artists and art places within the City, including this Artist Travel Prize and an annual Public Art Prize.
Summer/Fall 2018: Public presentation of travel by selected artist
Stephen Towns took his first trip abroad to Ghana and Senegal to visit important historical sites that mark the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Images and research from this trip will inform a future body of work exploring the history of colonialism and its effects on modern society.
Towns was raised in Lincolnville, South Carolina, a small town outside of Charleston. Towns earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of South Carolina and works at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Working primarily in oil, acrylic, and fiber, Towns draws much of his visual inspiration from Medieval altarpieces, Impressionist paintings and wax cloth prints. His work has been exhibited at Gallery CA, Platform Gallery, Hood College, Galerie Myrtis and is in the collection of the City of Charleston, South Carolina.
About his work, Towns says “The portraits I create are not only glimpses of the sitters; they are also a reflection of myself and mirror my struggle to attain a sense of self-knowledge, self-worth and spirituality beyond the Christian values that are so often idealized in African-American culture.”
“I am so excited to receive the Artist Travel Prize. Never having had the chance to travel abroad, this will provide me the opportunity to experience the idea of being ‘American’ outside of my own country,” continued Towns. “Furthermore, I will be able to experience sites of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Ghana and Senegal that I’ve only read about in books. In my next project in 2017, The Taming, I will use images and research from this trip to develop a body of work exploring the history of colonialism and its effects on black men. What methods do humans use to tame each other, currently and throughout history? In what ways do we tame aspects of ourselves and our own culture? I hope to explore expressions of Black American culture that have been tamed but have their roots in West Africa. Thank you to the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City for the amazing opportunity.”