We look to the arts for many reasons: for enjoyment, escape, inspiration, insight. Artists and their creative narratives help us to understand and learn about the world around us, and art can help us navigate through these challenging times. Though museums and galleries, theaters and cultural gathering places may be closed, we are all committed to continuing, and even expanding, arts engagement on virtual platforms that bring art to your home. For the visual arts, virtual exhibitions will continue to be a part of the present and the future.

Next week, as part of our Art in August programming, we are proud to launch the opening of “B2020,” our first BOPA curated virtual exhibition which features the work of Baltimore-based emerging artists. “B2020” centers around the theme of Black, Male and Body as a powerful response to the present moment. The exhibition is presented in honor of a landmark moment in art history: the 1994 exhibition “Black Male,” curated by Thelma Golden at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a revelatory exhibition that has inspired artists and curators since. But even though “Black Male” opened more than twenty-five years ago, this topic remains timely in our nation’s continuing struggle against racism. “B2020” gives a platform to the creative voices of eleven emerging artists from Baltimore whose works of art – painting, performance, photography and more – reflect history and today at once.

It is our hope that this exhibition inspires thoughtful conversation and discussion and enables us to engage with and learn from our talented Baltimore-based artists. We will continue to respond to our present moment by shifting toward virtual art experiences, just as artists and creatives continue to respond through artwork that challenges and inspires us.

Join us in celebrating the work of these gifted artists. “B2020” opens on Tuesday, August 11 on the groundbreaking Kunstmatrix virtual art gallery platform. As reminder, the 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalists’ Exhibition remains on view on Kuntstmatrix through August. Enjoy.

Donna Drew Sawyer
CEO, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts

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