Baltimore undeniably boasts charming cobbled streets, a rich history and fantastic food, but visitors to the city can take advantage of its flourishing arts scene that will welcome several new exhibitions this autumn. Beyond the well-established Arts and Entertainment Districts populated with cultural festivals, jazz bars, restaurants and family-friendly art studios, the city’s diverse and eclectic art scene will showcase new works that explore everything from industrial heritage to grassroots activism. The succession of premieres includes an anticipated blockbuster exhibition of the city’s cultural ambassador, John Waters.

Feeling inspired? Here, Visit Baltimore paints a picture of Charm’s City’s artistic landscape:

‘John Waters: Indecent Exposure’ at The Baltimore Museum of Art 

6th October 2018 – 6th January 2019

The Baltimore Museum of Art will welcome the first major retrospective of film director, writer, actor and journalist John Waters’ visual art in his hometown of Baltimore, running from 6 October 2018 until 6 January 2019. An embodiment of Baltimore’s diverse and eclectic art scene and renowned for his works including ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Cry Baby’, the provocative exhibition explores John Waters’ primary focus on issues of transgressive media, tragedy and identity as well as cultural and moral attitudes, and are marked by the artist’s iconic dark humour and satirical style. Titled ‘John Waters: Indecent Exposure’, the exhibition grants visitors insight into the controversial figure’s influential career, childhood and inspirations through showcasing more than 160 pieces of his work, including collated 1960s film footage as well as sculptures, photographs and soundworks he has created since the early 1990s.

‘Parenting: An Art without a Manual’ at the American Visionary Art Museum

6th October 2018 – 1st September 2019

Showcasing a diverse range of pieces by 36 artists, the upcoming exhibition: ‘Parenting: An Art without a Manual’, housed at the American Visionary Art Museum, offers visitors of all ages an artistic exploration of the complexity and simplicity of parenthood. By depicting their own experiences of parenthood and being parented, the artists trace the history of the basic human practice, through to the ways in which it has evolved and projections for a bioengineered and robotic future. With such a mixture of mediums and visual approaches, the exhibition (running from October 6 2018 to September 1 2019) will have something for everyone to enjoy, be it appreciating a crayon drawing or an elaborate sculpture made from piano parts.

‘Mark Bradford: Tomorrow is Another Day’ at the Baltimore Museum of Art

23rd September 2018 – 3rd March 2019

Bradford’s exhibition for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale made its American debut at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Charles Village. At ‘Mark Bradford: Tomorrow is Another Day’, visitors move through installations inspired by everything from Bradford’s personal experiences to Greek mythology and the universe at large. The Baltimore exhibition will also feature a site-specific installation: a painterly “waterfall” moving through the East Lobby to the second floor.

Baker Artist Award winner Amy Sherald to exhibit at Baltimore Museum of Art

Portraitist for First Lady Michelle Obama and Baltimore resident, will be featured alongside other local artists who received a Baker Artist Award at the Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) ‘Baker Artist Awards 2017 & 2018’, on view 12th September – 14th October 2018. Two of Sherald’s portraits, Well Prepared and Maladjusted and The Rabbit in the Hat, which demonstrate her signature style of rendering black subjects in a muted grayscale, made famous by First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait, will be on display. Another not to miss: Sherald’s latest unveil, a mural titled “Equilibrium” on the side of the historic Parkway Theatre that pays homage to the strength and resilience of African American women.

‘Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist presented by Bank of America’ at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

From 11th November – 3rd March, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum will showcase its exhibit ‘Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist presented by Bank of America,’ which features over 70 works in a variety of media that showcase Bearden as one of the most important visual artists of the 20th century. The diverse collection of original collages, watercolors, drawings and limited-edition prints, showcase Bearden as an innovative artist who experimented with social realism, abstraction, and ultimately the collage medium for which he was best known, throughout his career.

Hackerman House reopening at The Walters Art Museum

After a comprehensive renovation, The Walter’s Art Museum’s Hackerman House building at One West Mount Vernon Place once again opened to the public in June 2018. The 19th-century mansion’s many stunning features include a grand spiral staircase, Tiffany stained-glass skylight and carved wooden bookcases. Installations at Hackerman House feature new works from community art projects and contemporary artists, along with ceramics from around the world. As visitors walk through the space, a free app allows them to explore the stories of Hackerman House’s inhabitants, enslaved and free servants, architects and builders.

For more information on Baltimore’s arts and culture, please visit www.baltimore.org.


Cover photo credit: Eric Gerber

Caoilfhionn Rose

Caoilfhionn is a freelance travel writer who enjoys slow travel and avoiding landmarks in favour of diving into a destination's culture. Instagram: @CaoilfhionnRose

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