Baltimore’s Top 8 Must-See Contemporary Art Galleries

Photo of Lauren England
9 November 2016

Baltimore is a truly cosmopolitan city in the heart of Maryland, with a number of great art and culture events taking place throughout the year and an impressive dining scene. The arts have seen a vigorous resurgence over the last decade with numerous multi-functional, artist-run spaces popping up around the city dedicated to showcasing regional and national artists. These are some of the best contemporary art galleries and arts organizations in Baltimore.

Current Space

Established in 2004, Current Space is a truly multifaceted enterprise, well-embedded in Baltimore’s alternative art scene. At once an artist-run gallery, studio, and hub for cultural production, Current Space is a pioneering venture that encourages the generation of dialogue between artists, designers, curators, activists, and thinkers. The gallery works on a variety of contemporary solo and group exhibition projects throughout the year featuring an array of mediums including photography, video, and game design. Exhibitions at Current Space present challenging works by both local and international artists including Sophia Belkin and Suzanna Zak, but the gallery also runs a number of collaborative projects and events that encourage artistic development and aim to broaden the reach of art within the local community.

Baltimore | © dpbirds/Flickr

Maryland Art Place

Maryland Art Place is a key player in Baltimore’s art scene. Established in 1981, the organization has endeavored to support local artists and encourage their professional development whilst providing a packed schedule of exhibitions, events and educational workshops inspiring the community and encouraging engagement with the arts. The nurture and promotion of new artistic ideas and communication between artists and the public is paramount to Maryland Art Place; the organization has been known as a critical resource for contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic since their inception. Their broad approach to arts programming has resulted in a variety of stimulating solo exhibitions by regional artists such as Hasan Elahi and Mina Cheon alongside a number of annual exhibitions such as Out Of Order and Young Blood.

Maryland Art Place, 218 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 962 8565

Courtesy of C. Grimaldis Gallery
Courtesy of C. Grimaldis Gallery

C. Grimaldis Gallery

One of the most important contemporary art venues in the region, C. Grimaldis Gallery is also Baltimore’s oldest contemporary art gallery. The up-market gallery opened in 1977 and specializes in post-Second World War American and European art, with an emphasis on contemporary sculpture although they are also known for photography. Their extensive program of carefully curated solo and group exhibitions is accompanied by numerous appearances at established art fairs such as Art Miami, Texan Contemporary art Fair, (E)Merge Art Fair and Palm Springs Art Fair. C. Grimadis Gallery has an impressive roster of represented artists featuring a number of internationally celebrated talents. Key figures include renowned sculptor Richard Serra, light sculptor and artist Chul Hyun Ahn, and photographer Ben Marcin.

Chul Hyun Ahn, Visual Echo Experiment, 2011, Edition of 3 + 1AP, plywood, acrylic, fluorescent lights, mirrors, 91 x 91 x 5.5 inches | Courtesy of C. Grimaldis Gallery

Guest Spot

Guest Spot is a unique contemporary exhibition space. Founded by artist and curator Rod Malin, Guest Spot is located at The Reinstitute, the School for Innovation and Self-Accreditation for the Arts and Sciences. Independently run by a team of artists, their one-of-a-kind curatorial program offers exhibitions focused on the theme of impermanence, the utilization of space and the concept of the ‘American Home’. Guest Spot is a place where artists and curators can experiment and explore new areas of artistic practice, creating installations that respond to the infrastructure of the building and explore the relationship between space and purpose. Artists who have featured at Guest Spot include Vincent Como, Adam Farcus, Terence Hannum, Jason Lazarus and Michael Sirianni. The exchange of ideas within the local and national art scene is also promoted by Guest Spot through their collaboration with visiting guest artists and curators.

Alex Gingrow I’m looking for something in green to match my client’s yacht, 2009 | Courtesy of Guest Spot @ THE REINSTITUTE

Goya Contemporary

Notable for its promotion of art and culture within Baltimore and further afield, Goya Contemporary presents an innovative range of exhibitions, collaborations, and printed publications. Showcasing cutting-edge works of contemporary art and generating dialogue about contemporary practice Goya Contemporary is one of the longest-running Mid-Atlantic galleries and is among the nation’s most prestigious art venues. Fostering the work of mid-career artists Goya Contemporary is known for its program of thought-provoking exhibitions by talents such as Joyce J. Scott, Ann Hamilton and Timothy App. In addition to independent exhibitions, the gallery participates in art fairs including Art Miami, IFPDA Print Fair and (E)merge Art Fair. Incorporated into Goya Contemporary is Goya-Girl Press, a facet of the art space that collaborates with artists across the country to create unique fine art edition prints, many of which have been collected by museums and public collectors.

Ann Hamilton installed at Goya Contemporary | Courtesy of Goya Contemporary

Baltimore Clayworks

Dedicated to developing, sustaining and promoting an artist-centered community, Baltimore Clayworks provides an extensive and inspirational program of exhibitions, collaborations, and hands-on community arts events. Focused solely on ceramic arts, the non-profit center enables the public to engage directly with the medium of clay and artists working within the field of ceramics; it delivers a number of solo and group exhibitions throughout the year featuring artists such as Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Shalya Marsh, and Brett Freund. Their highly successful Community Arts Program has also been running for over two decades. With events held throughout the year, the center connects its represented artists with members of the community, providing numerous opportunities to get hands-on with clay.

Courtesy of Baltimore Clayworks

The Alchemy of Art

The Alchemy of Art is a hybrid art gallery and craft boutique. Owned by Sheridan Costa, this vibrant, eclectic venue boasts an exquisite collection of works by new and established artists and craftsmen, both from the local area and further afield. Covering a wide range of mediums and techniques from print-based works and photography to stitched wood, the gallery’s main focus is promoting local talents. Select artists include McCabe Jamrozs, Brendan Hamilton, Tyler Merbler and Shannice Wollcocj. The Alchemy of Art focuses strongly on the personal value of interacting with art, emphasizing the experience of color and texture through its chosen works. Exhibitions at the gallery change every month with music-fuelled openings every first Thursday, ensuring a constant flow of unique artworks.

Chapel Room | Courtesy of the Alchemy of Art

Jordan Faye Contemporary

Established in 2006 by experienced, Sotheby’s-trained gallerist and curator Jordan Faye Block, Jordan Faye Contemporary is a distinguished platform for emerging artists. The gallery works to expose the wider community to thought-provoking contemporary art by artists whose works will stand the test of time, gaining historical significance for their exploration of critical contemporary issues. Jordan Faye Contemporary currently represents 15 artists, both emerging and mid-career including David Page, New York-based Edie Nadelhaft and Mary Beth Muscara. With its innovative exhibition program designed specifically to address the needs of artists and art enthusiasts rather than the art market, Jordan Faye aims to redefine the traditional concept of a gallery. This is accompanied by a ‘salon series’ program and a number of appearances at international art fairs.

Courtesy of Jordan Faye Contemporary

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