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Invisible Architectures | Social Contracts

Exhibition: Thursday, May 9 - June 29, 2024

Opening Reception: Thursday May 9, 2024 

Maryland Art Place in collaboration with COFAC CoLab Directors Dr. Kalima Young and Ada Pinkston, are excited to announce a call for submissions for "Invisible Architectures." This exhibition explores the impact of geographic, economic, social, and institutional structures on personal relationships. Regional artists are invited to submit proposals for inclusion in a dynamic interdisciplinary art festival scheduled for Spring 2024 to conclude this Co-Lab sponsored project. We welcome proposals that explore the past, present and future directions social contracts may take. 

About Invisible Architectures: 

As we approach another election year in the United States, agreements about what is included in an American social contract continue to be up for debate.The term social contract started when philosophers from France to England started to think about the nature of humanity and the tensions that exist between the people who enact power and the people who do not. What are the agreed upon boundaries that exist within our social, family and political structures? How do these boundaries create or negate cognitive distance with what actually happens in any social theater? Artistic interventions have the potential to offer us much needed insights and possibilities for our collective future.  

All art media will be considered. Submissions will be rated based on the following criteria: artistic quality, artistic innovation as it relates to the theme, and proposal feasibility. Regional artists will be considered. Students, faculty, and staff of any University of Maryland school are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please Note: All applications will be reviewed and considered for the venues outlined. However, please indicate your preference of venue or any scheduling conflicts in the virtual application or email submission of your application. 


Current Space, Baltimore, MD | Exhibition Dates: March 6th - April 6th 

Current Space is an artist-run gallery, studio, and outdoor performance space, nourishing an ongoing dialogue between artists, activists, performers, designers, curators, and thinkers. Operating since November 2004, we are committed to showcasing, developing, and broadening the reach of artists locally and internationally.

StartUp at the Armory Gallery in Towson, MD | Exhibition Dates: April 12 - May 16th 

The StarTUp at the Armory is TU’s front door for start-ups, small businesses, as well as our region’s largest corporations. This state-of-the art 26,000 sq. ft. space includes 6,000 sq. ft. of free co-working space and meeting rooms where entrepreneurs and executives can connect with each other and to TU’s programs and people.

Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD | Exhibition Dates: May 9th - June 29th 

Juried by: Doreen Bolger 

Maryland Art Place (MAP) inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community. MAP creates a dynamic environment for artists of our time to engage the public by nurturing and promoting new ideas. MAP has served as a critical resource for contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic since 1981.

Doreen Bolger Bio: 

Doreen Bolger, retired Director of The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), served from 1998 to 2015. During her 17-year tenure, she led a successful $100 million fundraising campaign, oversaw BMA's renovation, implemented free admission, and transitioned the institution from a city agency to a private organization. Bolger holds a BA magna cum laude from Bucknell University, an MA from the University of Delaware, and a PhD from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Prior to her BMA role, she worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as Curator and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for American Art, Curator at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, TX, and served as Director of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Since retirement, Bolger has contributed to local arts organizations including: Creative Alliance, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland Art Place, and Woman’s Club of Roland Park; curated exhibitions in the co-curation of  MICA’s 2015/2016 Graduate Exhibition; and gifted twenty works to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. She also contributed to Bmore Art’s publication City of Artists Baltimore (2023).

About Invisible Architectures in CoLab

The COFAC CoLab is an incubator for ideas, projects and collaboration. The lab is a home for interdisciplinary work. It's a hub where ideas can be cross-fertilized and put into motion. Designed as a space where fields of study are porous, the objective is to build new knowledge for an ever-evolving world. Professors Dr. Kalima Young, (Department of Electronic Media & Film) and Ada Pinkston (Department of Art + Design, Art History Art Education) were selected to be Towson University’s College of Fine Arts and Communication CoLab Directors from 2021-2024.



Featuring Baltimore Designer, KENN HALL 

Thursday, March 7th @ 7pm

Maryland Art Place (MAP) in collaboration with Baltimore-based fashion designer Kenn Hall is proud to present Merkin Dream II, a runway show. The first Merkin Dream show was held during the 100th Anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement during the Covid pandemic. At that time MAP leaned heavily on themes of women’s rights, sex work as work, body image, digital euphoria and absurdity.

About the merkin: The merkin first appeared circa 1450 primarily to prevent the spread of human lice amongst sex workers. The wigs were derived from goat and horsehides, and at times human hair, serving as a vehicle for hygiene. Women shaved their genitalia to combat lice, but still needed to appear clean and well groomed to solicit continued patronage. At the time a majority of sex workers were selling themselves to survive and the merkin ensured good business. The utility of merkin was also employed by male actors to cover their genitals when they were cast in a female role. 

In the mid 1700’s merkins became fashionable and were often threaded with pearls and ribbons, dyed different colors and adorned, used for decoration and to denote status. Today, Hollywood is the leading, contemporary market for the merkin outside of the fetish industry, and is utilized to bypass unwanted viewing ratings for nudity and/or to placate a shy actress unwilling to bare it all on camera.

This March we aim to take a look at the merkin through the lens of haute couture. “Very recently  John Galliano’s latest Maison Margiela Artisanal show went viral. In the light of the proliferation of perfectly plucked porn stars many are worryingly blasé about, the Edwardian-esque figures were rather quaintly refreshing. The show was also notable for its embrace of a swathe of body shapes,” says Victoria Moss  for the Standard.

About Kenn Hall: Kenn Hall’s passion for fashion began at a young age where his interest in the human form and design collided. Under the mentorship of Mrs. Deborah Williams at BSU,  Kenn got his fashion legs doing shows for various colleges and Artscape, before leaving Baltimore to fulfill bigger dreams. After relocating to New York Kenn secured an internship with a local bridal/evening designer. He began as an assistant designer eventually moving on to production and development roles for renowned names like Donna Karan, Men’s Wearhouse, and Express, where he gained valuable experience. Kenn is now back in Baltimore to expand his own brand identity, embracing the motto "Apres moi le deluge."

Merkin Dream II will be an exclusive event and limited to only 75 guests due to capacity limitations. RSVP HERE.  MAP is located at 218 West Saratoga Street between Park and Howard Streets just within the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District. 

Maryland Art Place (MAP) inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community. MAP creates a dynamic environment for artists of our time to engage the public by nurturing and promoting new ideas. MAP has served as a critical resource for contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic since 1981.

Zeke's: TOONES: Cartoons and Comics

Application Deadline: 

Monday, January 22  @  Midnight

Calling all cartoonists and graphic book artists, Zekes’ Coffee Shop and Maryland Art Place (MAP) are seeking artworks related to cartoons and comics for TOONES, an upcoming exhibition celebrating the joy of illustration. We’re seeking artists inspired by the nostalgia of Saturday nights spent watching your favorite show(s). Submit your artwork to be considered for this opportunity, paying homage to the art form that has brought joy and excitement to audiences of all ages. TOONES is a celebration of the rich and captivating world of cartoon and comic book art. 

The exhibition will run February 6 - April 25, 2024 and on view at Zeke’s Coffee located at 4719 Harford Rd. 


Artwork must be 20 x 20 or under

Please deliver any selected artwork ready to hang

Artwork must be related to the theme: TOONES

Selected artwork must be delivered to Maryland Art Place located at 218 West Saratoga St. Baltimore, MD 21201 beginning Thursday, February 1, - Saturday, February 3, 2024.


Release Call to Artists: 

Week of December 21

Application Deadline: 

Monday, January 22  by midnight  

Notice of Acceptance: 

Friday, January 26th

Artwork Drop off: 

Thursday, February 1 - Saturday, February 3, 2024

Exhibition on View: 

February 6 - April 25, 2024

Opening Reception: 


ABOUT ZEKE’s: In 205 Thomas Rhodes sold his first pound of coffee at the Baltimore Farmers Market. One year later he opened a retail space on Harford Road in Lauraville, and further expanded his operations to a fully functioning café just down the street at 4719 Harford Road in 2017.


On View:

January 25th - March 23, 2024


Thursday, January 25 | 6 pm to 9 pm

Merkin Dream Fashion Show II | Kenn Hall 

Maryland Art Place is proud to announce EMBODIMENT, a group exhibition celebrating artwork about the human body. Bodies are anchors to the physical world. Through sensory experiences, they are the vehicle through which we negotiate our surroundings,  inform our identity, and thus dictate how we participate and engage with spaces and others (real or imagined). The human form, historically and anthropologically, speaks to culture, ritual, religion, familial practices, symbolism, spirituality, mortality and more. It is a subject that has continuously informed artworks - a journey of constant rediscovery.  

EMBODIMENT seeks to unveil the shared human experience by transcending cultural and societal boundaries, exploring the ever-evolving dialogue between art and the human condition. The focus is not on solving the mysteries of identity, but unraveling how artists use the human form to mutually discover the narratives it reveals about ourselves and others. This curated collection of works serves as a celebration of diversity, delving into the myriad ways we express ourselves, inhabit our bodies, and navigate the complexities of the human condition, reflecting our vested interest in articulating its intricacies and complexities. Join us on Thursday, January 25th for an opening reception from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Merkin Dream II, MAP’s second incarnation of a fashion show highlighting handmade merkins (pubic wigs) with guest designer Kenn Hall. As in Merkin Dream I, the fashion show confronts sex work as work, the commodification of women, body image, digital euphoria, performance, absurdity and humor. 

Maryland Art Place is located at 218 West Saratoga St. Baltimore, MD 21201

Osaretin Ugiagbe | Hotel Indigo

Osaretin Ugiagbe | Hotel Indigo 


On View:  January 23 - May 3, 2024

Reception: Wednesday, February 21 | 5 to 7 pm

Hotel Indigo | 24 West Franklin Street | Free & Open to the Public

Maryland Art Place in partnership with Hotel Indigo Baltimore is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Maryland-based artist, Osaretin Ugiagbe. The exhibition is on view at Hotel Indigo, located at 24 West Franklin St. from January 23 - May 3. A public reception will take place Wednesday, February 21 from 5 to 7 pm.

About the artist: Osaretin Ugiagbe, born in Lagos in 1986, has been moving from city to city since leaving Lagos at the age of 16. He travels within his mind, carrying his memories as baggage and reconstructing them in each new place and culture he discovers. Faces blend into an interior scene, leaving behind only an atmosphere where his memories intertwine.

Ugiagbe studied at the Royal College of Art in London and graduated in 2019 with a Master of Art (Painting Program). He has exhibited in several museums, including the Bronx Documentary  Center and the Bronx Museum of Art, and his work is part of the collection at the Museum of  Fine Art Houston. Articles about him have been featured in The New York Times and the  Financial Times in London.

By concealing the faces in his artwork, Ugiagbe invites viewers to actively engage with the narratives of his protagonists. Furthermore, he conveys not only a sense of universality but also vulnerability and protection. This duality adds layers of complexity to the artwork, encouraging  viewers to explore their own emotions and experiences.

The artist skillfully incorporates the motif of Bounty paper towels to obscure the faces of his  characters, thus providing insightful commentary on the detrimental impact of globalized consumerism which inevitably leads to homogeneity. In doing so, Ugiagbe draws a parallel  between the assimilative nature of Bounty paper towels, seamlessly absorbing and obscuring our distinctive identities. Additionally, as an immigrant himself, the artist evokes a lingering sense of displacement and transience as he navigates between contrasting realms.

Please join us on Wednesday, February 21 from 5 to 7 pm at Hotel Indigo  for the opening reception celebrating the solo exhibition of Osaretin Ugiagbe. Hotel Indigo is free and open to the public.

Our Mission

Maryland Art Place (MAP) inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community. MAP creates a dynamic environment for artists of our time to engage the public by nurturing and promoting new ideas. MAP has served as a critical resource for contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic since 1981.

Contact Us

Phone: 410.204.1959