Artists Inspired by Place and the Past, Connecting to the Present

Saturday, September 7, 2024, 2–4 p.m.
City of Artists: Baltimore, the first full-length book from BmoreArt

Location: Graham Auditorium
Registration required.

How are artists inspired by the places around them? Why do so many artists choose to call Baltimore home? What conversations emerge when artworks from different times are displayed together? Artists Jessy DeSantis, Herb Massie, Jackie Milad, and René Treviño sit down to discuss these and other questions with Dr. Gina Borromeo, Senior Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Ancient Art. Join us for an engaging conversation about how the subjects of place and the past inform living artists’ work in the present and for the future. The program includes a Q&A session, followed by mingling in the Museum Cafe.

This discussion is inspired by and connects to the BmoreArt publication City of Artists: Baltimore and the Walters Art Museum’s exhibition Reflect & Remix: Art Inspiring Artists. Reflect & Remix displays artworks that resonate with the past while reflecting their own present moment. This exhibition is on view in our Temporary Exhibition gallery through September 8, 2024.


City of Artists: Baltimore is the first full-length book from BmoreArt, Baltimore’s art and culture magazine, featuring 220 pages of personal reflections from leading writers alongside portfolios from some of the city’s most celebrated visual artists. The book offers a diverse, multifaceted perspective of art in Baltimore through inspired text and rich visuals, in which authors explore specific moments that shaped their creative vision and visual artists offer bodies of work influenced by materials, ideas, and experiences from their hometown.

2 p.m.: Introductions
2:15 p.m.: Panel Conversation
3:15 p.m.: Q&A Session
3:30 p.m.: Mingling in Museum Cafe

Available resources include: ALD Devices, Accessible Seating, Sensory Kits

Accessibility resources and accommodations are available for programs and events. Please email [email protected] with questions and requests. We will make every effort to provide accommodations. Visit our accessibility webpage for more information on accessibility across the museum.

About the Artists
Jessy DeSantis, raised in a Nicaraguan household in Miami, Florida, and now residing in Baltimore City, is a self-taught artist creating meaningful, vibrant work. Their paintings’ stark contrast of vibrant color and white space draws the viewer into their subjects. They are inspired by their connection to nature, food, family, and their Central American roots. Their paintings, which often depict birds, are more than just visually beautiful; many also carry the intention of a story to be told. DeSantis seeks to pass on these stories of heritage and truth, with all their complexities, to their children and future generations. The artist states that as they grow and evolve through life, their art will evolve and shift with them. They are currently mastering the art of portraiture and storytelling through a cultural and historical lens.

Herb Massie is a teaching artist from Baltimore. In 2016 the Maryland State Arts Council named him the recipient of the Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year Award. With well over 25 years of experience, in addition to teaching at Clayworks and Jubilee Arts, Massie has hosted ceramic workshops and classes in Baltimore City schools, with teens, adults, and community elders, as well as people in addiction recovery and those formerly incarcerated.

Jackie Milad is a Baltimore-based artist whose mixed-media abstract paintings and collages address the history and complexities of dispersed cultural heritage and multi-ethnic identity. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her work has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries, including the Academy Art Museum; the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Harvey B. Gantt Center; The Mint Museum; the Walters Art Museum; the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Milad is a multi-year recipient of the Individual Artist Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and a 2024 Creative Capital Grantee. Milad received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and her MFA from Towson University.

René Treviño is a Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist working primarily in paint, fibers , and installation. He received his BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2003 and his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2005. He has exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Walters Art Museum. He was awarded a 2009 Baltimore Creative Fund Individual Artist Grant and won the 2009 Trawick Prize and a 2016 Rubys Artists Project Grant. In 2019, Treviño received a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant in collaboration with the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas. The Wellin Museum of Art in Clinton, New York, exhibited his first museum survey in 2024. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Glasstire, Hyperallergic, BmoreArt, and ARTnews. Treviño teaches at Towson University and MICA.


Saturday, September 7, 2024


2–4 p.m.


Celebrations, Talks & Lectures

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