Friday of last week, my colleges art club visited two Baltimore art galleries: Maryland Art Place and School 33.
Maryland Art Place is a small gallery on Market Street, hidden between Rams Head Live and Power Plant Live, two of the largest, most popular clubs in the downtown (though they're moving to a larger, more visible location in a few weeks. More on that next month). The gallery is small and at times slightly sterile, but unorthodoxly charming. Their current exhibit, Art and Film, seems at first like a very stereotypical modern art exhibit. However, by the end, it was probably my favorite of the galleries we saw. The first two rooms of the gallery are devoted to Glenda Wharton, an animator whose film, "The Zo and the Invisible Friend" was at this years Sundance Film Festival. On display were 16 original cells from the movie.
Glenda Wharton's style reminded me of a more sophisticated version of the drawings in one of my favorite children's books, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Her illustrations provoke gut reactions; the imagery is not comfortable or especially beautiful, but it is captivating. The movie is hypnotic, keeping your eyes glued to the screen even as you're dragged through a nightmare. It's a fabulous show for fall, evocative of the decay and gloom we naturally associate with the shortening of days. The fact that Halloween is also fast approaching adds a disturbing appropriateness to the show.
The rest of the gallery is devoted to the videos of four other artists. Sadly, we had to move on to the next gallery before I got to really see them, so I don't have much to say. However, the one video I did get to see some of was LoopLoop by Canadian filmmaker, Patrick Bergeron. On a trip to Seoul, Korea, Bergeron videotaped a train ride through the city. The video loops sections of the ride over and over again, focusing on the details revealed in the video that were missed in real life. His concept statement and the video itself were maybe not art, but they were certainly interesting and thought-provoking. How much life do we miss while trying to survive?
The exhibition gets an A from me. It was interesting, thought-provoking, mostly unpretentious, and I want to go back.
The gallery itself gets a B. While I love the curator and the space is nice, it's nearly impossible to find. I'm eager to see the space they're moving to.
Tomorrow On the Blog: School 33. With photos!
- Maria D'Isidoro
- was sold to gypsies as a small child for half a tank of gas and a kitten. She was quickly, if not easily, retrieved by her mother after the kitten was revealed to be an Eldrich horror looking for a ride into the nearest metropolitan area to begin wreaking havoc. It's been a bone of contention between Maria and her family ever since, whether the Horror-kitten would've been more or less trouble than she grew up to be.