Baltimore Clayworks is prepared to host Global Perspectives, a curatorial thesis exhibition beginning March 2 through April 13 by Jaimianne Amicucci, an MFA graduate student of the Curatorial Practice Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
Founded in 1980, Baltimore Clayworks is a not-for-profit ceramic art center located in the Mt Washington neighborhood of northwest Baltimore which offers classes, exhibitions, artist’s spaces and programs throughout the community.
Amicucci, who holds a BFA in Ceramics from Finlandia University, volunteered at Baltimore Community College’s Refugee Youth Project and developed an interest in the diverse cultural backgrounds of the teens she met there. With her love of ceramics, she embarked on a journey to explore and research traditional pottery making in the native countries of the refugees she met. She traveled to the Kingdom of Bhutan and Nepal in South Asia, as well as Ethiopia and Tanzania in Africa to study the methods and pattern making of local artisans.
With the help of Baltimore Clayworks’ Community Arts Program, Amicucci shared the pottery making traditions of these countries with the teens of the Refugee Youth Project. After showing photographs from her travels and explaining how a group of artisans would share several roles in order to produce hundreds of pots and vessels to sell to locals and tourists – Amicucci and teachers from the Clayworks’ Community Arts Program asked the youth to create functional ware with the same mentality. As well as working on individual projects, the children worked as a group – implementing the communal fundamentals that they had learned about from Amicucci. Teens were shown pottery making techniques and encouraged to use patterns and designs to explore their identity.
Global Perspectives will showcase artwork and narratives of ceramic artisans from these countries which will be accompanied by ceramic work created by teens of RYP. This exhibition will create an artistic bridge between the refugee communities in Baltimore and the ceramic artwork of their homelands that they left behind when coming to the United States. Global Perspectives will also provide the general public the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the rich cultural and authentic traditions of ceramic pottery from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Photographs of craftspeople taken by Jaimianne Amicucci during her research as well as objects and narratives – translated into several languages – will be displayed throughout the exhibition and galleries.
As part of the programming, Global Perspectives will include a curator’s talk and panel discussion.
An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 2, from 6 to 8PM for all interested to attend the exhibition.
Baltimore City Community College’s Refugee Youth Project is committed to assisting newly arrived refugee youth by providing extra academic, social and emotional support through mentoring and after-school programs.