Exquisite Lumbees: Opening this Friday May 6, 7-9pm


You may remember artist Ashley Minner's work from the HomeCooked Stories events that took place last fall. The Light Gallery is excited to present Exquisite Lumbees, a collaboration between Ashley Minner, photographer Sean Scheidt, and participating Lumbee community members, showcasing Ashley Minner's Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts Thesis work. The project consists of photo portraits of members of Baltimore's Lumbee Native American community.

"The men and women who were asked to participate in this project are all part of what I consider to be 'my generation.' We are all close in age. Many of us grew up together and despite the different paths we have chosen for ourselves in life, we are still close and see each other regularly to this day. Those who agreed to visit the photography studio were encouraged to wear what they liked best. We did several sessions with different groups of people. Each time, the entire group would stand behind the camera along with the photographer to encourage and coach the person whose portrait was being taken. Each person was given the opportunity to choose the photograph they felt best represented them. Text incorporated into the portraits, written by us, gives viewers a glimpse into our hopes for one another and the depths of ourselves. "The Exquisite Lumbee" book exists to demonstrate that, although we as a people run the gamut of skin colors, hair colors and hair textures, we do have a distinctive quality, character, and style. We recognize each other. We are exquisite." -Ashley Minner

"Come see our community through US. If you didn't know that we were here, this is an excellent opportunity to become acquainted."

Funded by the MICA Franz-Merrick Community Arts Partnership Special Projects Fund and the MICA Office of Student Affairs Community Service Fund

We hope you'll join us for the opening this Friday, May 6, from 7 - 9pm at 1015 N. Charles Street!
The show will remain up until May 18.


If you missed out on the Synthspiration events the last two weeks, check out this video of highlights from the event at sota's space in Annapolis:

Check out Studio of the Arts' Artist Residency at their website, http://www.sotaspace.org.
To hear more of Von Vargas' music, check out http://www.vonvargasmusic.com.

Also, here's a couple of promo videos made by a few members of The Light:


New Hope for Cambodia Art Auction

New Hope for Cambodia Art Auction
Saturday March 26, 7 - 10pm
(Accepting artwork donations until February 25)

Following the Synthspiration events, our next event will be a silent art auction to benefit New Hope for Cambodia, taking place Saturday March 26 from 7 - 10pm. New Hope for Cambodia is a non-profit organization whose "mission is to provide food aid and sustainable development programs through education and job creation to Cambodians living in poverty. Our vision is to see Cambodians living in developed and sustainable communities where their basic needs are met and they are able to send their children to get a proper education." For more info. on their organization and how you can help directly, visit their facebook page. All the proceeds from the auction will benefit New Hope for Cambodia and their projects.

You can help by donating:
1. Art/fine craft pieces to us by February 25 (framed if possible and delivered to The Light Gallery OR mailed to:
New Hope for Cambodia
P.O. Box 31801
Baltimore, MD 21207)
You can also email atthelightgallery@gmail.com if you are interested in submitting.
2. Frames and mat board
3. Time (to set up the show, to prepare appetizers for the show, to help out during the show with food, or the bidding process, to take down the show, etc.)
4. Money (to print invitations, purchase frames and hanging supplies, food for the event) - checks must be written to Trinity Assembly of God with a memo, "New Hope for Cambodia" and can be mailed to the P.O. Box listed above

We appreciate any contribution you are able to make! And of course you can support New Hope for Cambodia by attending the silent auction on Mar. 26 where we will auction off all the original art pieces we have received. With your contribution we can continue to help Cambodians who are living in poverty and we can work to expand our existing projects to help more people.

If you would like more information about New Hope for Cambodia, please email Danielle Long at DanielleLong06@gmail.com.


Synthspiration III

Synthspiration III
(pt. 1) Saturday Feb. 12, 7 - 11pm at sota Art Studio & Residency
(pt. 2) Saturday Feb. 19, 7 - 11pm at The Light Gallery

Born out of a series of events hosted in the apartments of various Light members, Synthspiration has now made its way into the gallery space. The Synthspiration series started with Synthspiration I, held to celebrate the launch of Joseph Vargas' website, as well as the inspiration for the name: Synthspiration.
What exactly is Synthspiration, you ask? In the words of Joseph Vargas himself, 
"It's the feeling you get when you hear that nasty melody in your favorite hook or when your favorite beat drops. It's that photograph or painting you think about when you're at a stoplight. It's trying your favorite food for the first time...Joseph inspired by synthesizer? Boom! Synthspiration...Synthspiration is also collaboration. I've had the pleasure of working on creative projects with some very talented friends and I wanted a website where I could share these collaborations with others." 
The Synthspiration events might best be described as some combination of art opening / dance party / film-screening / live music event / slam poetry reading / ... They are really whatever we want them to be, as well as a time and place for friends to get together and share their own "synthspiration." Synthspiration II followed Synthspiration I, and now we're excited to invite you to be a part of Synthspiration III.
In the spirit of collaboration, The Light Gallery is pairing with Studio of the Arts (sota) Art Studio & Residency in Annapolis, MD to host two events, one at The Light Gallery and one at sota. Synthspiration III (pt. 1) will be on Saturday Feb. 12 from 7 - 11pm at sota and Synthspiration III (pt. 2) will be the following Saturday Feb. 19 from 7 - 11pm at The Light Gallery. We would love for you to join us at one (or both!) of these events! 

Check out these photos from Synthspiration I and II!:

Happy Fun Work Space this Tuesday Feb. 1, 6-10pm!

This Tuesday February 1st, we invite you to join us for Happy Fun Work Space @ The Light! Stop by the gallery anytime between 6 - 10pm. Bring your latest project to work on and join us in creating art as a community! It will be happy. And fun.


Review of Up From Here Opening

Up From Here, the current exhibition on display at The Light Gallery, opened Friday January 21st, as a collection of works by the artist Emily Hines, a recent MICA graduate.  The show contains her large most recent drawings and collages on fabric as well as her installations of small pieces and writings.  The title Up From Here and the artwork presented “emerges from an ongoing spiritual dialogue rooted in a series of personal losses…they ratify…the validity of a person’s spiritual and emotional experience”(Hines).  The subtexts in the title are that both act of the creation of the artwork and the act of the viewer interacting with the artwork at the show are ways of moving up from a personally low place.  Each piece has its own variation on the subtexts, but all pieces both large and small are communicated in with the subtlety of a limited pallet of pigments, graphite, and small pieces of textiles attached with sewing pins.
The opening reception drew a very large crowd that comfortably congregated in the bright high ceilinged front room where Hines larger works were installed.  Those periodically fleeing the great crowd were drawn in the lowly lit back half of the gallery where they were given the time, space, and quiet to investigate Hines’ smaller more intimate works.
One piece in particular If Your Presence Does Not Go With Us drew a tentative gathering of viewers who one by one moved close enough to the work to smell the cotton fibers.   If Your Presence contains 28 small portrait drawings, negative test strips, old Polaroid’s of family members, photo transfers on delicate fabric, and pages torn from torn from old books The pieces were arranged in an organic fashion on the wall hung to creating flowing spaces in-between the works filled with handwritten text from William Faulkner and Roald Dahl on the wall.   It is both in this piece and in the larger piece In the Sleep that the use of pins reveals the complexity of the stories being presented.  Though both If Your Presence, and In the Sleep contain details and lines committed to with great care and respect, textiles that make up some of the hues inside the portraits and cradling the heads of the figures, are attached to the surface using small discrete metal pins. These pins pierce the flesh tones of the portraits, emphasizing both the delicacy of the materials being used and the delicacy of the emotions that went into the cultivation of these images.
The time spent with these works is much akin to spending time with a person.  The works slowly reveal intimate details of a broader narrative of personal loss.  But it is the sharing of these slowly released, intimate details to the viewer that brings about the exchange between the viewer and the artwork and a greater empathy for the stories and the people involved in their creation.
Up From Here gives viewers a space to contemplate and empathize with the emotions not easily shared through conversation and other social encounters.   My own viewing experience allowed me to meditate both on the emotions and the skillful execution of Emily Hines’ work.  The show will stay up through the 15th of February and viewing is by appointment. 

-by Kathleen Durkin 

To view more of Emily Hines' work, visit www.emilyhines.com.

Photos from the opening!

the artist herself

quite a turnout!

Artist Emily Hines (R) and author of review Kathleen Durkin (L)