Arts District

WTMD Merges Visual Art and Music at Upcoming Exhibit

Music, Seen, opens in November and brings many Baltimore creative communities under one roof.

When Peggy Hoffman curated monthly art exhibits on the top floor of Minás Gallery, owned by her partner Minás Konsolas, she would often organize concerts, poetry readings, and other events to branch out and draw in more people and merge what often seemed like distinct artist communities.

She spent 12 years there (she and Konsolas closed the Hampden business in 2014), and now, semiretired, provides management services for artists and curates the occasional exhibit—like the upcoming The Music, Seen, opening at WTMD in November.

Much like her vision while at Minás Gallery, the purpose of this show is to bring Baltimore’s creative communities under one roof.

There will, undoubtedly, be live music for the opening, which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. November 1. Greta and Joe, who play a lot of instrumental jazz standards, will take the stage during the reception.

“We kind of get in our own creative silos,” Hoffman says. “My approach to curating this show was to bring people together who don’t normally interact. . . . The station is connected to an extensive network of curious, engaged people from the music community. My objective is to expose new groups of people to artwork. WTMD’s objective is to build community through music. The exhibition is a great fit for both of us.”

The show includes about 50 pieces of original, musically-inspired work by five Maryland artists: Landis Expandis, Konsolas, Cody Pryseski, Watson, and Kristin Wiebe, each of whom has interpreted the musical theme in his or her own way.

Landis Expandis may be best known for his role as lead singer and drummer of the All Mighty Senators (or more recently as a Baltimore DJ), but he also works in visual art, creating colorful, loose acrylic paintings, often with a nod to music. It only made sense to feature him in this exhibit, as his work—and life—bridges together music and art.

A Maryland Institute College of Art graduate, Konsolas is working in collage and cardboard for this exhibit, though in the past he’s been known primarily as a painter and owner of Minás Gallery.

Pryseski, who has a studio in Fells Point, is known for his hyperrealistic figure paintings but is trying something new for this show: abstract portraits. The pieces reference songs that are connected to people and memories, and they are meant to evoke an emotional response, much like the way music does.

Also based in Baltimore, Wiebe works primarily in acrylic on canvas, drawing inspiration from such masters as Matisse and Gaugin and also through her former work in international human rights.

A graduate of the arts program at Towson University and now based in Frederick, Watson makes mixed-media pieces with a gritty, urban motif, often incorporating signage and graffiti.

The work will be hung throughout the WTMD building in Towson—the reception area near the entrance, the conference room, and one or more hallways. The majority of the pieces were created specifically for the show, Hoffman says.

The first show she curated in the space was held in November 2017 and titled Rhythm and Muse. It featured work by five artists, as well, including one overlap (Landis Expandis and Konsolas both showed their work), and Fractal Cat played the opening. Hoffman is planning a third exhibit with WTMD that won’t be music-themed, slated to open in the spring of 2019.

WTMD has served as a venue for about half a dozen shows in the past. Sam Sessa, music and media relations coordinator at the station, says that Rhythm and Muse was one of the most well-attended, bringing about 200 people to WTMD for the opening reception. “I was blown away. The response was overwhelming, and all the artists in last year’s show sold pieces,” he says. “Any time we can bridge art and music, that’s what we’re trying to do.”