It wouldn’t be fall without a robust lineup of local arts, and that’s still true, even in the uncertain year of 2020. Some museums (including the BMA, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, AVAM, and The Walters) have begun phased re-openings, while other arts venues continue to pivot toward online and outdoor programming. Whether you’re logging on or leaving the house, these 21 happenings offer some much-needed inspiration.
VIRTUAL FRONT ROW
10/3 & 30. Creative Alliance. 8 p.m. $6-15.
The Creative Alliance’s new livestreamed concert series using new 4D technology showcases some of the city’s best musicians, with soulful R&B singer-songwriter Christen B kicking things off at the beginning of the month, followed by renowned blues, gospel, and jazz vocalist Lea Gilmore with her The Juke Joint All Star’s Big Fat Blues Cabaret at the end of the month.
PEABODY DEAN’S SYMPOSIUM SERIES
10/7, 21. Livestream. 12:30 p.m. Free. $15.
This year’s Peabody Dean’s Symposium Series returns with innovative artists and thought leaders in conversation with Dean Fred Bronstein, starting with hip-hop pioneer Rakim, followed by MacArthur Genius Grant songwriter Rhiannon Giddens.
10/9. Livestream. 7 p.m. $15.
Baltimore’s beloved dream-pop band, now officially a quartet with the addition of longtime drummer Mike Lowry, is back with their album, As Long As You Are, featuring 11 tracks including new singles “For Sure” and “Thrill.” Tune into the worldwide livestream concert to celebrate its release.
10/10 & 24. Urban Pirates. 5:30 p.m. Free.
Back by popular demand, local radio station WTMD returns with a second edition of its aquatic concert series aboard the Urban Pirates fleet, with Mark Hopkins and the Pretty War, followed by Rufus Roundtree & Da Bmore Brass Factory, performing various sets along the Inner Harbor for listeners on the shore.
BROWN SUGAR BAKE-OFF PLAY FESTIVAL
10/17. Two Strikes Theatre Collective. Zoom. Free.
Baltimore’s newest troupe, the Black woman-led Two Strikes Theatre Collective, is teaming up with the female-focused Strand Theatre Company to present this one-day virtual festival, featuring 10-minute plays by local directors and playwrights.
KEEP OFF THE GRASS
To 10/18. Locations & times vary. $49-149.
After a partially virtual spring, Single Carrot Theatre is back with its all-new 13th season, starting with this original, no-contact work—an outdoor, walking, audio play that weaves original folktales with socially distanced performance that looks for answers in this strange year.
To 10/1. Connect + Collect Gallery. Sunset-11 p.m. Free.
Curator Teri Henderson presents a group exhibit featuring newly commissioned work by Akea Brionne Brown, Shan Wallace, and Savannah Wood inspired by research into the Afro-American newspaper’s archives, on view in the gallery windows from the city streets.
To 10/10. Current Space. Free.
Installed in the Howard Street art gallery’s window boxes and viewed from the outdoors, this solo exhibition by artist Alpha Massaquoi brings Black joy and beauty to the forefront, with powerful charcoal drawings capturing the facial expressions and emotions of his subjects.
THE NORTH AVE WINDOW JOINT
To 10/31. Impact Hub. Times vary. Free.
Curated by Baltimore contributor Alanah Nichole Davis, this community art show and window exhibition will display prints by more than 15 artists, photographers, and illustrators, including Jaz Erenberg, Saba Hamidi, Rob Ferrell, Phillip Muriel, Asia Kimpley, and more.
THE SCIENCE AND MYSTERY OF SLEEP
10/10-Fall 2022. American Visionary Art Museum. Times vary. Free.
Fantastical, handmade bedrooms created by three visionary artists are the heart of this new AVAM exhibit, exploring the space as personal refuge and the latest scientific research behind sleep as both a major force for wellbeing and creativity.
To 10/24. Eubie Blake Cultural Center. Times vary. Free.
Baker Artist Award winner and Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist Akea Brionne Brown presents an in-person solo photography show, combining imagery, collage, and writing samples that examine the various influences of her individual identity as a Black femme in America.
JO SMAIL: BEES WITH STICKY FEET
To 10/20. Goya Contemporary Gallery. Appointment only. Free.
Hampden’s Goya Contemporary has extended its online summer exhibit of 30-plus works by heralded South African-born, Baltimore-based artist Jo Smail. The collages are an exploration of past and present through shape, texture, and pattern. Also viewable online.
ART OF THE COLLECTORS VIII
To 10/30. Galerie Myrtis. Appointment only. Free.
Old Goucher’s Galerie Myrtis presents an all-new fall exhibition, featuring artworks of prominent and lesser-known African American artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, and Baltimore’s own Valerie Maynard, including rare paintings, original prints, photographs, and sculptures culled from private collections. Also viewable online.
To 11/29. Baltimore Museum of Art, Spring House. 10 a.m.-sunset. Free.
At the BMA’s outdoor Spring House, see a short, animated film and powerful meditation on protest and patriotism by California artist Kota Ezawa, with the museum’s Go Mobile app providing additional commentary on the work and space, which was a former workspace for enslaved people in Baltimore.
SHAN WALLACE: 410
To 1/3/21. Baltimore Museum of Art, Spring House. Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
With the BMA’s spring exhibits cut short by COVID-19, most have been extended through 2021 as the museum reopened in September, including this powerful collection by local photographer Shan Wallace, featuring photographs and collage that captures the beauty and resiliency of her hometown Baltimore.
VALERIE MAYNARD: LOST & FOUND
To 1/3/21. Baltimore Museum of Art, Spring House. Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
Also extended into 2021, this must-see retrospective of living legend Valerie Maynard features works from the printmaker and sculptor’s six-decade career from New York to Baltimore.
A PERFECT POWER: MOTHERHOOD AND AFRICAN ART
To 1/17/21. Baltimore Museum of Art. Times vary. Free. This all-new exhibit, part of the BMA’s 2020 mission to focus on female creativity, explores the significance of iconography related to motherhood in Central Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries, featuring more than 40 objects from headdresses to mythic sculptures.
DOORS OPEN BALTIMORE
To 10/31. Free.
While doors will not literally be open during this year’s Doors Open Baltimore, the annual free architectural festival, now in its sixth year, will continue to bring all the city’s corbels, cornices, floors, and facades to audiences throughout the month of October. Instead of a single weekend of open houses in light of COVID-19, the 2020 virtual version will feature new virtual programming each week, including live tours, presentations, workshops, and family activities, on topics ranging from African-American heritage and civic pride to religion and arts and culture. Organized by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation with a goal to return in-person in 2021, this neighborhood celebration all kicks off on October 1 with a lecture by Baltimore Heritage and Aaron Henkin, host and producer of WYPR’s Out of the Blocks.
BMA SALON & SCREENING ROOM
Baltimore Museum of Art. Free.
In the wake of COVID-19, the BMA has launched its new online Salon and Screening Room initiatives to support local artists and galleries, featuring dozens of exhibitions from the likes of C. Grimaldis, Springsteen, Waller Gallery, and the Black Arts District, as well as dozens of video works by local auteurs.
To 10/9. Maryland Institute College of Art. Online. Free.
After a short spring semester, MICA Forum Class students showcase their works through this virtual 3-D gallery in partnership with Pigment Sauvage, an artist-run gallery in Bolton Hill, including powerful photographs, digital drawings, and isolation-inspired paintings.
FORGOTTEN FIGHT: THE STRUGGLE FOR VOTING RIGHTS IN MARYLAND
To 3/31/21. Maryland Historical Society. Free.
The year 2020 marks the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the ratification of the 19th and 15th Amendments, respectively. This virtual, interactive exhibition from the MDHS honors the women who devoted their lives to women’s suffrage and fought an uphill battle for the right to vote across the state.
BALTIMORE OPEN STUDIO TOUR
The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts’ annual Open Studio tour will carry on in the digital realm with a weekend of local artist and gallerist talks, as well as tours of their studios, spaces, and artworks.