Natural hair has always held a fascination for Murjoni Merriweather, who incorporates African American hairstyles – afros, braids, cornrows, puffballs -into her gracefully elongated ceramic figures. “I come from a majority black community so I base a lot of my art work around my own culture,” says Merriweather, 19, who resembles her creations. She is a sophomore in the ceramics program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
With a flick of her stubby paintbrush, artist Kim Parr Roenigk blocks in the flamboyant gesture of a Flamenco dancer. Another day, her sure hand outlines Matisse-like pineapples. These are some of the images springing to life on a dozen large canvases at her Ellicott City studio. Once completed, the murals will be rolled up and delivered to the boutique Ivy Hotel, under construction in Baltimore City’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The 1889 mansion at North Calvert and Biddle Streets, originally a private residence, became the city-owned Inn at Government House in the 1980’s. More decorative painting by Roenigk and other local artists is already in place at the luxury private hotel, which is slated to open this summer.
In his pale gray waistcoat, charcoal corduroys, and crisp white dress shirt buttoned to the neck, a burgundy ribbon tied around the collar, Amadeus Guchhait looks like he’s from another era.
So does his art.
Guchhait, a junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and an Ellicott City native, has spent the semester creating a collection of clothing that unites disparate time periods and cultures as a commentary on western notions of identity and cultural appropriation. Read more here
After Michelle Nugent, a half-Filipino-American, took her first trip to the Phillippines and noticed how they got around, she had an idea.
Now a community arts student at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Nugent made a pedicab from an old children’s bike, a wooden chair, a handrail, some PVC pipe and cardboard. She decorated it with recycled paper bags, Coca-Cola cans and soda boxes (and one National Bohemian beer box), potato chip bags and other materials. Her intention with The Pedicab Project is to give people in Baltimore free rides in exchange for stories, which she will record and re-purpose to share with others. To learn more about The Pedicab Project, watch the video below the gallery.