In 1981, a group of artists and committed citizens began exploring the subject of the visual arts in Maryland, focusing on two primary concerns: the common needs of visual artists throughout the state, and the desire of many citizens to have more access to and information about artists working in Maryland.
The Maryland State Arts Council recognized the inherent value of these concerns and the importance of a venue to facilitate the communities' needs. As a result of their awareness, the Arts Council granted funds to form an organization that would further this group's pursuits in promoting contemporary art. This dedicated group, became the founders of Maryland Art Place (MAP), leading the organization to incorporation in 1982.
MAP remains committed to fostering an environment conducive to the growth of contemporary art in Maryland, and has sought to fulfill its mission through broad-based programming which offers artists and the public a variety of avenues for challenging interaction and advancement.
From it first home, a renovated industrial space in the Candler building, adjacent to the Inner Harbor, MAP presented fourteen exhibitions and regular performances. In November 1984, a significant rent increase caused MAP to move and spend the next 14 months in temporary locations while searching for a permanent base. During that time, MAP developed a number of programs not subject to space restrictions: a state-wide exhibition series, a Critics' Residency program, a public art program in conjunction with the Market Center Development Corporation, and Diverse Works, the first performance residency for interdisciplinary artists. With the use of ad hoc spaces, MAP mounted five major exhibitions in 1984-85.
In 1986 MAP leased space with a unique purchase option, at 218 West Saratoga Street in downtown Baltimore. In January, 1988, it purchased the 20,000 square foot building, thus taking a major step toward financial stability and continuity of programming. The renovation of the building was completed in 1991 providing MAP with first-rate gallery space and a permanent and central base from which to build its programming. MAP continued to occupy the lower two floors and basement of the five-story structure until building out and moving to Power Plant Live in March 2001. In January of 2014 MAP moved permanently back to 218 West Saratoga Street, in the newly designated Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District.
The 14 Karat Cabaret, the performance component of MAP's programming, continues to showcase an ongoing series of performance, music, dance, film and video in the basement of MAP's West Saratoga Street space.
Suzi Keats Cordish: joined 1992 - 2013
Costas Grimaldis: joined 1980 - 2012
John Moore: joined 1980 - 1993
Matha Macks-Kahn: joined 1984 - 2001
Mary Ann Mears: joined 1982 - 1993