They say you learn something new every day, but if you feel like it’s been a while, you aren’t taking full advantage of all Baltimore has to offer. Feed your imagination with art, film, culture and even food. All are celebrated in the best museum exhibits to see this fall. From sculpture to Jewish culture, enjoy everything Baltimore has to offer in the arts right here.
Gretchen Feldman: Love Letter to Earth
American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Price: $15.95/$13.95 seniors 60 and older/$9.95 students and children/free ages 6 and younger
Dates: runs through Jan. 13
No doubt one of the zaniest museums, the American Visionary Art Museum is home to a life-sized chess set, an outdoor movie theater and even a fallen angel. The museum strikes both somber and celebratory tones with its exhibition, Love Letter to Earth. See the watercolor and acrylic paintings of the late Gretchen Feldman, whose views of nature, as well as her battle with lung cancer, greatly influenced her work. Raised in Baltimore, Feldman attended Goucher College before working at the Baltimore Museum of Art as well as the Walters Art Museum. The majority of her paintings were created starting in the 1980s at her Martha’s Vineyard studio. She captured the natural world in views of the land, sea, animals and farms. Upon learning her tragic diagnosis, Feldman’s artistic view turned inward toward the cancer cells, using bright colors at first to reflect optimism though inevitably turning darker and darker as the disease progressed. Get to know the artist through her work by stopping at the AVAM.
The Two Planets – Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Dates: Aug. 11 to Nov. 18
So rarely do those who haven’t traveled there experience perspectives of ordinary individuals halfway around the world, but this exhibit provides exactly that opportunity. In the “Hackerman House Link” gallery, visitors are invited to expand their view of another culture as artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, brings high art and village farmers together in her short films. Araya takes classic Western artworks out of their traditional, museum settings and puts them in the midst of the rural villages of Thailand to record the local farmers’ impressions and interpretations of the works. The camera is set up in such a way as to make viewers feel like a part of the group. Not only does the viewer understand what the farmers say through translated subtitles, but the sights and sounds of the area, from singing birds to a passing breeze, are also included in the experience. “The Two Planets” (or Dow Song Duang) explores communications in different cultures to find similarities in humor, curiosity and other aspects of the human spirit.
Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
Herbert Bearman Campus
15 Lloyd St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
Price: $8/$4 students/$3 children younger than 12
Dates: Oct. 23 to Dec. 20
If the sound of kugel, challah, bagels and lox, latkes, knishes or Bubby’s matzoh ball soup make your mouth water, or if you have no clue what any of that is, head to the Jewish Museum of Maryland to learn more. The “Chosen Food” exhibition shows the amazing relationship of certain cuisines to the Jewish-American identity. Food customs and symbols help to uphold traditions, and as any fan of “Fiddler on the Roof” knows, traditions are important to stay balanced. From finding the afikomen (or middle matzah) on Passover, to the triangular Purim cookie, hamantaschen, the heart of the Jewish culture is reflected in this exhibit. These practices lead the way in maintaining family discussion at the dinner table and upholding a responsible kosher diet.
Related: Best Art Museums In Baltimore
Contemporary Art Wing Reopening
Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21218
Price: free/special exhibitions may require admission fees
Date: reopening Nov. 18
Immerse yourself in the experience of a lifetime as the Contemporary Art Wing returns this fall with a worthy makeover. The BMA becomes the first major American institution to commission a permanent gallery by Sarah Oppenheimer whose work utilizes perspective in architectural space to engage the participant. In other words, you’ll want to look everywhere: floor, walls, ceilings and everywhere in between. Also showing within the wing are works by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as many others including living artists such as Nari Ward and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Sculpture at Evergreen 7: Landscape as Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University
Evergreen Museum and Library
4545 N Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21210
Dates: runs through Sept. 30
There’s only a week left to see the “Sculpture at Evergreen” exhibition, which comes in a different form every two years. Installations are featured outdoors in ways that take the existing landscape and permanent architecture into account. The sculpture is made by the students of curator John B. Sullivan, a landscape architect and professor at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. Their task is to express emotions and ideas while working with the land, weather, history and architecture. Discover this quiet and thought-provoking environment that transports you out of the city.
Pam Smith graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in English and a passion for writing. Her adaptive nature led her to work in the scientific, energy supply, and business industries while writing on a multitude of topics for various online media. Pam currently resides in Baltimore County. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.