Baltimore Citybizlist: BMA Selects Baltimore Artists Rahne Alexander and Jaimes Mayhew for One-Year Commons Collaboration

April 2, 2016

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced today it has selected Baltimore-based artists Rahne Alexander and Jaimes Mayhew, working in conjunction with Chase Brexton Healthcare’s LGBT Health Resource Center, to produce artwork and a series of free public programs related to the exhibition Imagining Home. The artwork debuts in October 2016 in the Commons of the BMA’s Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center. This is the second year of the Commons Collaboration project, which launched in October 2015 with the opening of the Education Center and an installation by artist Marian Glebes and The Loading Dock. 

Alexander and Mayhew were selected from an impressive short-list of artists and non-profit teams including Stewart Watson with CASA; Nate Larson with Jubilee Arts; Re/Public with The Women’s Housing Coalition; and Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz with Beth Am Synagogue. The artist/project team was selected by BMA staff with an advisory panel, including Director of The Contemporary Deana Haggag, Morgan State University Professor Dr. Lori Johnson, artist Rene Trevin?o, and filmmaker, activist, and researcher Kalima Young. 

Focused on an installation in the likeness of a bedroom and a montage of home movies, the next iteration of the Commons Collaboration will explore the artists’ notion of the “Quotidian Queer,” including experiences of home life and public space, identity presentation, social perceptions, chosen family, self-care, and the constantly changing concept of home. Five Baltimore-area Chase Brexton LGBT Health Resource Centers will serve as locations for continued engagement with artwork and programs.


Rahne Alexander is a video artist, musician and performer. Her film and video art has been screened in galleries and festivals across the country, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, MIX (NYC), Freewaves (LA), Homoscope (Austin) and Cinekink (NYC) and she is an alumna of the Experimental Television Center residency program. Rahne was featured in the 2010 documentary feature Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance, and she performs frequently with several bands, including Guided By Wire and The Degenerettes. She is a former curator/organizer of Baltimore's avant-garde Transmodern Festival and the long-running, award-winning queer cabaret Charm City Kitty Club. For five years, 2011- 2015, Rahne was in charge of operations and development for the Maryland Film Festival.

Jaimes Mayhew is an internationally exhibited interdisciplinary artist and arts organizer. He has worked both independently and collaboratively on research-based socially engaged projects. Mayhew’s recent project, Samesies Island, explores the possibility of an imaginary separatist island built by and for transmen, and is collaboratively produced with input from other transgender men. He has collaborated with such notable groups as the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, a Boston-based art research collective, and The Museum of Transitory Art, a Slovenian artist collective. In 2012, Mayhew collaborated with Kristen Anchor to produce a two-part exhibition featuring queer Icelandic and American artists that was exhibited in Reykjavik and Baltimore. As a solo artist, Mayhew has received funding for projects from The Fulbright Commission of Iceland, Provisions Library (DC) and The Maryland State Arts Council.


A Joint Commission-accredited Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Chase Brexton Health Care provides a range of clinical services, from primary medical care to behavioral health services to pharmacy, serving a diverse group of patients at their seven clinics in Baltimore City, Randallstown, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Easton, as well as at Sheppard Pratt’s Way Station office and as provider of the student health services at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Their 350 staff members work as a team to put their 35,000 patients at the center of their own care, empowering them to live their healthiest lives.


The inaugural exhibition for the BMA’s new Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home. Visitors will discover paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, textiles, and works on paper from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, as well as four miniature rooms, plus a variety of interactive features presented in three thematic areas: Façades & Thresholds; Domestic Interiors; and Arrivals & Departures. Interactive features include Home Stories videos that reveal an individual’s or family’s experience living with a reproduction of a work of art for a month. Another group of artworks has Soundscapes that immerse visitors in the place where the object was made through authentic audio recordings. The BMA’s Go Mobile smartphone guide has been expanded with 40 new stops with original content for artworks in Imagining Home.


The Commons reflects the voices and creativity of Baltimore. Adjacent to the gallery in the Education Center, the Commons features a year-long Commons Collaboration inspired by the theme of home featuring artwork by an artist/artist team working in conjunction with a non-profit organization. In this space, visitors can also fill out Postcards from Home with their responses to questions posed in the exhibition. Then postcards will be mailed to another visitor whom they’ve never met. They may write their own address on a return label to receive a postcard as well. Select postcards are featured on the BMA’s blog. The Commons also hosts Open Hours on the third Saturday of the month. These events are organized by anyone who wants to propose an activity connected to the theme of home that promotes a sense of sharing and exchange.


The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 95,000 works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. Throughout the museum, visitors will find an outstanding selection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; prints and drawings from the 15th century to the present; works by established and emerging contemporary artists; and exceptional objects from Africa and Asia. Two beautifully landscaped gardens display an array of 20th-century sculpture that is an oasis in the city. The 210,000- square-foot museum is distinguished by a grand historic building designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope. A $28 million multi-year renovation that began in 2010 has transformed galleries for contemporary, American, African, and Asian art, added a new education center, and improved visitor amenities and infrastructure. Since 2006, the BMA has provided free general admission so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.


The Baltimore Museum of Art is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The museum is closed Monday, Tuesday, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The BMA is located at 10 Art Museum Drive at North Charles and 31st Streets, three miles north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For general Museum information, call 443-573-1700 or visit Connect with us: #ARTBMA • Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • YouTube

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