Baltimore Museum of Art Announces New Outdoor Experiences

BALTIMORE, MD – While The Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) building is still closed to the public, there is now more for visitors to see, do, and eat outside the museum. Beginning Wednesday, August 5, the BMA is debuting a presentation of Kota Ezawa’s powerful video National Anthem in the Latrobe Spring House and new Go Mobile audio tour stops on the exterior works of art and buildings with insights from BMA curators. Beginning Saturday, August 15, these experiences will be accompanied by the Snow Cone Sisters snack kiosk featuring gourmet hot dogs and snow cones from Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen. The Sculpture Gardens and Spring House will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting.

“Art has an incredible power to compel action, inspire new thinking and conversation, and to soothe and provide respite. Even though our building is temporarily closed, our mission to serve as a platform for the voices of artists and a space to engage our community through art remains,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “Our expanded roster of outdoor programming provides new opportunities to experience artwork that is in instances prescient, revelatory, provocative, and comforting. We look forward to seeing our visitors on campus again and to fully reopening in the future.”

California-based artist Kota Ezawa’s National Anthem (2018) is a meditation on patriotism and protest. The single-channel animated video was inspired by the actions of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other football players who took a knee, sat, raised fists, or locked arms during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality against unarmed black men and social injustice. Ezawa (b. 1969, Germany) creates work that explores and translates significant cultural events into simulations that question the authenticity of both our experiences and retold histories. For this work, he reproduced National Football League pregame footage from 2016 and 2017 by manually tracing sideline images from various football games and meticulously painting each drawing with watercolors to resemble the original image. Ezawa then rendered each scene three times, creating over 200 images which he re-animated through photography. He pairs the video with a somber, acoustic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by a cello quartet. The one minute, 38-second film culminates with cheers from fans.

BMA Go Mobile, the museum’s web-based app, has been updated with audio commentary from the museum’s curators on nine works of art and architecture. Works by Kota Ezawa, Bruce Nauman, Louise Nevelson, and Isamu Noguchi are featured along with the historic buildings designed by John Russell Pope and Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and the empty monument plinth across the street on Art Museum Drive. (An addition to Mickalene Thomas’ rowhouse installation on the BMA’s Zamoiski East Entrance will be added to the building and audio tour next week.) Insights from the museum’s curators expose the often-hidden histories of slavery and racial inequities that are a part of the fabric of Baltimore and its institutions. Visitors can access the Go Mobile content on their smartphones at artbma.org/gomobile. The Snow Cone Sisters snack kiosk from Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen will serve gourmet hot dogs and a variety of classic and custom snowball flavors from 11 a.m. to dusk, Tuesday through Sunday.

Please note that for the health and safety of visitors, masks are required in both the sculpture gardens and Spring House and groups are limited to a maximum of six people in the sculpture gardens and three people in the Spring House. Both areas will be closed during afternoons with an excessive heat index.

THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
Founded in 1914, The Baltimore Museum of Art is a major cultural destination recognized for engaging diverse audiences through dynamic exhibitions and innovative educational and community outreach programs. The BMA’s internationally renowned collection of 95,000 objects encompasses more than 1,000 works by Henri Matisse anchored by the famed Cone Collection of modern art, as well as one of the nation’s finest holdings of prints, drawings, and photographs. The galleries showcase an exceptional collection of art from Africa; important works by established and emerging contemporary artists; outstanding European and American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts; significant artworks from China; ancient Antioch mosaics; and exquisite textiles from around the world. The 210,000-square-foot museum is also distinguished by a grand historic building designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of 20th-century sculpture. The BMA is located in Charles Village, three miles north of the Inner Harbor, and is adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University. General admission to the BMA is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

The BMA’s Sculpture Gardens and Spring House are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum building is temporarily closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Connect with us online at artbma.org and through social media.

Kota Ezawa

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