BMA presents exhibition of Baker Artist Awards 2012 winners

. August 17, 2012 . 0 Comments

BALTIMORE, MD – For one month only, Baltimore’s talented arts community is on display with a multi-disciplinary exhibition of works by the three winners of the prestigious $25,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize. On view September 5 through October 7, the Baker Artist Awards 2012 also features examples by the nine b-grant winners and kicks off with an opening celebration on September 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The three 2012 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize winners are photographer Alexander Heilner, sculptor David Knopp, and musician Nathan Bell. Visitors to the exhibition can view Heilner’s aerial photographs of landscapes altered by human-built structures, often with surprisingly beautiful results. The photographs, taken from thousands of feet in the air, cover the globe from Dubai and Iceland to Nevada and Florida. Knopp elevates laminated plywood from a humble building material into stunning sculptures reminiscent of the structure of twisted trees. The exhibition also includes digitally recorded performances by Bell, who uses a banjo alongside various musical instruments to create ethereal and poignant melodies.

The nine b-grant winners who received $1,000 are: Chris Bathgate, Brent Crothers, Ellen Durkan, Yoshi Fujii, Tiffany Jones, Miranda Pfeiffer, Marcia Wolfson Ray, the late Lauren Simonutti, and Smooth Kentucky. Works by the eight visual artists are on display in the exhibition. Performance clips by Smooth Kentucky can be accessed by using a smartphone to scan a Quick Response (QR) code linking the visitor to the band’s nomination page on
Among the b-grant winners, acoustic band Smooth Kentucky was awarded an additional prize of $500 in honor of Semmes G. Walsh, whose 40-plus years of service to the Baker Fund were characterized by integrity, common sense and a commitment to artistic excellence and his love of music. Animator Miranda Pfeiffer was awarded an additional prize of $500 honoring Nancy Haragan’s service to Baltimore’s arts community.

The exhibition is curated by Ann Shafer, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs.

The Baker Artist Awards are directed by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund with the assistance of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. The exhibition is supported by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.

Media sponsor is WTMD Radio.

Friday, September 7, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Celebrate some of the finest art and artists in the Baltimore region with an exhibition opening party for the 2012 winners of the Baker Artist Awards. This free event features extended evening hours, chance to see works by the 10 talented visual artists on display for the first time, and lively performances by Nathan Bell and Smooth Kentucky. A reception with the artists caps off a memorable evening. Light refreshments served. Visit for previews of the artists’ works.

The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund established the Baker Artist Awards in 2008-2009 to recognize Baltimore’s artists and engage regional, national and international audiences in supporting these artists’ work. The Awards encourage all Baltimore area artists working in any creative discipline to register, exhibit their work, comment on others’ work, select favorite works, promote the site to friends, enjoy the broad public attention given to the site and compete for the Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes and b-grant awards. Mary Sawyers Baker, one of Baltimore’s early philanthropists, studied voice as a young girl in Paris and embraced the arts throughout her life. She established the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund in 1964 to honor her husband, a well-known Baltimore civic leader. In 2007, the Fund narrowed its philanthropic mission to focus exclusively on arts and culture; and in 2008, the Fund’s Board of Governors established the Mary Sawyers Baker Awards, up to three annual prizes of $25,000, to honor its founder. The first prizes were awarded in 2009. Submissions of the prizewinners and all of the nominees may be viewed at The Baker Artists Awards are administered by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance,

The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914, the BMA’s outstanding collection encompasses 90,000 works of art, including the largest and most significant holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world, as well as masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh. An expanding collection of contemporary art features iconic post-1960 works by Andy Warhol and Sol LeWitt, as well as exciting acquisitions by artists such as Kara Walker and Olafur Eliasson. The BMA is also recognized for an internationally acclaimed collection of prints, drawings, and photographs from the 15th-century to the present; grand European painting and sculpture from Old Masters to the 19th-century; distinguished American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts and Maryland period rooms; one of the most important African collections in the country, and notable examples of Asian, ancient American, and Pacific Islands art.

General admission to the BMA is free; special exhibitions may be ticketed. The BMA is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (except major holidays). The Museum is closed Monday, Tuesday, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The BMA is located at 10 Art Museum Drive, three miles north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For general Museum information, call 443-573-1700 or visit

Category: Museum News

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