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Spring exhibits vary in medium, subject, scale and scope



galleries, gay news, Washington Blade
galleries, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Day’s End’ by Barbara French Pace. (Photo courtesy Waverly Street Gallery)

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) hosts “Sprout” in galleries A and C, with member artists presenting works of color and pattern illuminated by spring light.

“Color: Painting by Mary D. Ott” in Gallery B is a new series of paintings created using embroidery yarn dipped in acrylic paint. Both exhibits take place from March 4-29, with an opening reception March 6 from 6-8:30 p.m. and coffee and cake on March 22 from 2-4 p.m.

In April, the gallery hosts “Connect/Disconnect,” featuring new paintings by Marcia Coppel, as well as “Slow Walking in New York,” a collection of photographs in which the artist uses his own disability advantageously to look at things slowly on the streets of New York City. Both April exhibits are open from April 1-26, with an opening reception April 10 from 6-8:30 p.m. and an encore reception April 25 from 2-4 p.m.

Foundry Gallery (1314 18th St., N.W.) hosts “Anticipation,” a series of mysterious watercolor scenes from around the world by Katherine Blakeslee from March 4-29 with an opening reception March 6 from 6-8 p.m.

The Freer Gallery of Art (1050 Independence Ave., S.W.) hosts “Seasonal Landscapes in Japanese Screens” in Gallery 5 starting March 7. The exhibit features blooming cherry trees in a selection of folding screen paintings that combine 16th- and 17th-century ink painting techniques from China with vibrant colors from Japanese painting.

The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum (701 21st St., N.W.) will officially open its doors March 21 and features the following exhibits: “Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories” includes more than 100 pieces of clothing and fabrics demonstrating the power and prestige of textiles. “Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790-1801” uses historical maps to share stories about the early experiment in D.C. urban layout, designed in the 1790s by Pierre L’Enfant. “The Civil War and the Making of Modern Washington” tracks the city’s evolution over time through maps, prints and illustrations.

The Art Museum of the Americas hosts two exhibits this spring. The F Street Gallery (1889 F St., N.W.) presents “Fordlandia: The Lost City of Henry Ford” on view March 11 through May 1 with an opening reception on March 11 at 6 p.m. The exhibit marks the first in the series, Megalomania. The photos, completed in 2012, depict the remnants of Fordlandia, an American town coming back to life built by Henry Ford in the Brazilian rainforest. The museum also presents “Libertad de Expresion,” on display from Feb. 19 through June 7, an exhibit exploring cultural diplomacy and Cold War politics through contemporary Latin American art.

New additions to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, “American Origins” (8th and F streets N.W.) continue to be on display through Nov. 1. The pieces include paintings of Ted Turner, Maya Angelou, Marvin Hamlisch and William Dunlap, a bronze sculpture of Richard Morris Hunt photographs of Domingo and Carmen Ghirardelli, Gary Cooper, Busby Berkeley, B. B. King, Quincy Jones and the Jackson 5. Also on display at the gallery starting March 13 are Elaine de Kooning’s portraits of friends and family. The exhibit includes depictions of well-known Americans including poets Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsburg and choreographer Merce Cunningham.

The Waverly Street Gallery (4600 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Md.) presents “Transitions” featuring nature-inspired abstract prints and print constructions by Barbara Bickley. The exhibit is open from March 10- April 4. The opening reception takes place March 13 from 6-9 p.m., and an artist demo takes place March 28 from 3-5 p.m.  The gallery also presents “Cadence,” an art exhibit featuring minimalist, rhythmic photography by Barbara French Pace from April 7-May 2. Gallery hours are noon-6 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. An opening reception will be held April 10 from 6-9 p.m.

The National Museum of Women (1250 New York Ave., N.W.) continues its exhibit on the Virgin Mary, “Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea,” through April 12. It brings together many facets of Mary’s identity and features art from renowned international art museums including the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi Gallery.

Man Ray-Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare is an exhibit at the Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., N.W.) open now that runs through March 10 and explores the intersection of art and science that defined art at the beginning of the 20th century. This exhibit marks the first time that the original plaster, wood, papier-mache and string models from the Institut Henri Poincare in Paris, Man Ray’s photographs, and the Shakespearean Equations paintings they inspired will be displayed side by side. Man Ray’s work was created in Hollywood in the late 1940s.

The Zenith Gallery (1429 Iris St., N.W.) hosts Culture Cluster to celebrate its 37th anniversary through March 28. There will be two opening receptions to meet the artists today (March 6) from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (700 Independence Ave., S.W.) continues to host “Days of Endless Time,” an exhibit on the second floor including 14 installations offering prismatic vantage points to counter today’s 24/7 flow of information and digital media obsession. The exhibit closes April 6. Themes include escape, solitude and enchantment. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) continues to host “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” through the spring and summer, closing Sept. 12. The exhibit commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and features audiovisual stations throughout the exhibit presenting archival footage and interviews with contemporary interviews with civil rights leaders.

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Not-to-miss exhibits at Baltimore’s Gallery Blue Door 

Works by Brooks, Halvorsen now on display



See Scott Brooks’s striking works at Gallery Blue Door in Baltimore. (Image courtesy of Gallery Blue Door)

Baltimore’s bustling art scene includes several current exhibits at the gay-owned Gallery Blue Door. 

Striking works by acclaimed artist Scott Brooks are on display now through July 9 in an exhibit titled “Self Contained — Pandemic Era Works.”

“The Work in ‘Self Contained’ was created over the last two years,” Brooks said in a statement. “It has been a challenging time for the world, and for myself personally. As an artist, being in lockdown gave me the gift of time.”

Brooks, a former D.C. resident who is gay, is a figurative artist who has been living and working in Baltimore since 2016. His art borders on the surreal and ranges from portraiture to complex narratives, according to the gallery.

Also currently on display is an exhibit titled “Becoming” by out artist Tracey Halvorsen, which runs until May 14. 

“This latest body of work reflects a composite of subject and abstraction through continued exploration of landscapes, still life, and narrative themes,” according to a statement from the gallery.

Gallery Blue Door should be on your list of places to visit in Charm City. It’s located in a historic row home in Mount Vernon, long the epicenter of LGBTQ life in Baltimore. 

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Have to pee? Check out new John Waters Restrooms

BMA introduces gender-neutral facilities



Actress Elizabeth Coffey and filmmaker John Waters outside the BMA’s new gender-neutral restrooms. (Blade staff photo)

The Baltimore Museum of Art unveiled its latest addition on Wednesday: the John Waters Restrooms, named for the iconic filmmaker who is a trustee of the museum. 

There were plenty of snickers and jokes about who would be the No. 1 and No. 2 patrons of the new facilities, but beneath the potty humor was an important message about access to the most fundamental spaces in society.

Joining Waters at a BMA event Wednesday to officially dedicate the gender-neutral restrooms was Elizabeth Coffey, a transgender actress and longtime friend and collaborator of Waters’. Coffey noted the importance of access to public spaces to the trans community. Preceding her at the lectern was Christopher Bedford, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis director of the BMA, who noted that adding the gender-neutral restrooms was the right thing to do.

After brief remarks, Coffey and Waters led a group of museum supporters and reporters downstairs to see the new space and Coffey cheekily took the inaugural trip into one of four private stalls. The stalls and adjoining communal washroom were designed by Quinn Evans Architects and feature white tile with bright red tile in the stalls. The idea for naming the restrooms came from Waters when he bequeathed his fine art collection to the BMA, according to a museum statement. 

The John Waters Restrooms will open to the public on Sunday, Dec. 12, in conjunction with the adjacent Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies. Waters is about to embark on a national tour of spoken-word performances. 

John Waters Restrooms, gay news, Washington Blade
John Waters speaks to a crowd at Wednesday’s dedication event. (Blade staff photo)
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BMA exhibit traces friendship between Matisse and Etta Cone

Baltimore collector helped build world’s preeminent repository of French master’s work



Henri Matisse. Seated Odalisque, Left Knee Bent, Ornamental Background and Checkerboard. 1928. (The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.255. © Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Baltimore Museum of Art is the world’s most important repository of French modern master Henri Matisse’s work and this fall, a new exhibition will explore the friendship between the artist and Etta Cone, the Baltimore collector who befriended Matisse in 1906. 

The two maintained a close 43-year friendship, during which time Matisse traveled to Baltimore and created works with Etta and the BMA in mind. Etta and her sister Claribel ultimately collected about 700 of Matisse’s works, according to the BMA, including Blue Nude (1907), The Yellow Dress (1929-31), and Large Reclining Nude (1935). 

This new exhibit, “A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore” will trace their friendship through letters they exchanged and includes more than 160 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and illustrated books. 

Etta Cone (Photo courtesy of Claribel Cone and Etta Cone Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art)

“For years, scholars have debated the purchases made by both Cone sisters, with much more credit given to the important acquisitions of major paintings by older sister Claribel,” the BMA said in a statement. “‘Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore’ will for the first time fully recognize Etta’s achievements as a collector and acknowledge her role in building the majority of the sisters’ Matisse collection, particularly the sculpture, drawings, and prints.” 

Henri Matisse at the dining room in of Etta Cone’s apartment in Baltimore, 1930. (Photo courtesy of Claribel Cone and Etta Cone Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art)

“Etta Cone and Matisse shared a love of gesture and the female form, expressed not only through her collection of his major paintings, but through an early and sustained interest in his print making and drawing practices. The exhibition begins with work on paper and ends there as well,” said Leslie Cozzi, BMA associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs.

The exhibition will feature a large selection of drawings, including masterpieces that are rarely on view due to light exposure restrictions, the BMA announced. 

“Etta Cone’s dedication to art, and to Matisse’s work in particular, has had a profound impact on the BMA and the focused and studied ways in which the museum continues to develop its collection. The forthcoming exhibition captures the exciting possibilities that can be achieved when artists, collectors, and public institutions join in a shared vision and commitment. We are delighted to present visitors with the incredible story of Etta Cone and the significant works of art that she brought to our museum, and to have this exhibition serve as a prelude to the presentations, programs, and publications that we’ll be able to create through our soon to be opened Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director.

Henri Matisse. The Yellow Dress. 1929-31. (The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland. BMA 1950.256 © Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York)

The Marder Center, which is scheduled to open in December, will present the breadth of the BMA’s Matisse holdings, while supporting the development of new scholarly publications that advance discussions on the trajectory of modern art, according to a statement. 

“A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore” opens Oct. 3 and will be on view until Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are available through Prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for groups of 7 or more, $5 for students with ID, and $5 for youth ages 7-18. BMA Members, children ages 6 and under, and student groups are admitted free. For more information, call 443-573-1701.

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