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baltimore

Christening a Film Festival’s New Old Home With John Waters

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 24, 2017
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The Maryland Film Festival has a glorious permanent home in a formerly abandoned theater. Of course, as with all developments in Baltimore, it’s restoration hasn’t been without controversy.

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Michael Jones McKean Makes Museums Existentially Terrifying

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 19, 2017
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In Michael Jones McKean’s The Ground, presented by The Contemporary, the artist has inserted a dystopian anthropology museum in a long-vacant department store. It’s smart, funny, and just a little terrifying.

See it while you can.

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Highlights, and a Sad Observation, From MICA’s Commencement Exhibition

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 15, 2017
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As a rule, we don’t generally discuss student work on the blog. There are plenty of reasons for this, but for me, one is simple: I am forever grateful no one from the art press ever saw the terrible work I was struggling through in art school.

Yet nearly every Spring, I am impressed by commencement exhibitions—how is it possible that so many college seniors have their shit together more than so many grown-ass artists? Thesis shows at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), my old alma mater, tend to be particularly polished and worthwhile.

This year, though, has been a rough one for students nationally. I can’t imagine dealing with Trump’s election in the Fall and inauguration at the start of the Spring semester, all while trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing with your last year of art school. So much work looks like students just gave up hope halfway through a concept—as if a collective trauma had left everyone dispirited and unable to focus. We at AFC can certainly sympathize. The situation is fucking unfair.

That’s why this year we’re covering the MICA commencement show, which closes today (go see it if you’re in Baltimore!). Although it’s overall less enthusiastic and high-caliber than years past, those who persevered through the crisis and turned it out deserve recognition.

Below, the stand-out highlights from the class of 2017. If they can survive pulling-off thesis projects this good in spite of (and often in reference to) the apocalypse, the art world will be a cakewalk.

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Highlights From Brown Paper: a Zine Fest For Artists of Color

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 3, 2017
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Baltimore curatorial platform Kahlon and Brooklyn’s 3 Dot Zine teamed up last weekend to launch a DIY press fair focused on artists of color. Here are some highlights.

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The Last Day of Disco; DUOX4Odell’s: You’ll Know If You Belong

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 28, 2017
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When tasked with paying tribute to a long-shuttered nightclub, Wickerham & Lomax went an unusual route. Their ambitious DUOX4Odell’s: You’ll Know if You Belong, which closes tonight in Baltimore, speaks to loss and placelessness as much as glamour.

Closing Reception: April 28th, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
1723 N. Charles Street, Baltimore

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Highlights From PMF VIII

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 4, 2017
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BALTIMORE – The 8th Publications and Multiples Fair wrapped up Sunday at the Baltimore Design School, and as always, was awesome. The fair, organized by art collective Open Space, features DIY publishers, independent artists, and all manner of great weird stuff. Notably, it seemed this year had less “traditional” fares such as zines or screenprints and more odd small objects. With hundreds of surprisingly affordable vendors from across the nation, it’s always a serious challenge to not go on a mega-art-shopping spree.

A sampling of what I wish I had bought after the jump.

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