The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) to host conversation with artists Mark Bradford and Stephen Towns

March 7 event held in conjunction with opening of Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning

BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) today announced it is hosting a conversation between internationally acclaimed artist Mark Bradford and Baltimore-based artist Stephen Towns on Wednesday, March 7, in conjunction with the opening of Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning. The event will focus on how each artist explores the boundaries of painting through a variety of materials and forms, as well as mines U.S. history in their recent work. The conversation will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the BMA’s newly renovated Meyerhoff Auditorium. Additionally, the BMA will keep the Stephen Towns exhibition open until 7 p.m. that day so attendees will have an opportunity to see it prior to the conversation. Admission to the museum and the event are free. Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

“I am thrilled to bring these two very talented artists together for what will no doubt be a lively conversation,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford, who will also moderate the conversation. “Mark’s innovative, multi-layered abstract paintings with paper, seen most recently in Pickett’s Charge at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Stephen’s extraordinary textile works on view at the BMA are evidence that these new modes of contemporary painting can produce artworks as compelling as those created using more traditional methods.”

Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the stunning textile work of artist Stephen Towns. On view March 7 through September 2, 2018, the exhibition features 10 luminous quilts constructed in fabric, glass beads, metallic threads, and translucent tulle that delve into the perspectives of women, people of color, and the institution of slavery in American history. The centerpiece is the artist’s monumental installation, Birth of a Nation (2014), which represents the abstracted figure of a black woman nursing a white infant against the backdrop of the first official flag of the United States. The quilt is suspended above a mound of earth and surrounded by Towns’ ongoing Story Quilts series (2016–), a cycle of seven works that narrate the life of Nat Turner and his 1831 rebellion. The exhibition also includes a pair of quilted oval portraits of Nat and Cherry Turner.

For general museum information, call 443-573-1700 or visit

Stephen Towns and Mark Bradford. Photography by Glenwood Jackson.