The 10 best art exhibits to see in Baltimore this fall

As part of The Baltimore Sun's Fall Arts Guide, we're picking the best arts activities coming to the area this fall. Here are the best visual art exhibits on the horizon.

For more, see best bets for: pop music | theater | classical music | dance | books | film | eclectic | suburban events.


‘Maryland Collects: Jacob Lawrence’

This exhibit brings together more than than 50 prints by the renowned painter from private collections that are rarely available for public view. Included are works inspired by the stories of such famous former Marylanders as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Sept. 9-Jan. 7 at the Reginald F. Lewis of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. $6-$8 museum admission. lewismuseum.org.

‘Jo Smail: The Past is Present’

The Baltimore-based artist's newest exhibit uses old family documents, recipes, newspapers and books from the mid-20th century to explore her origins growing up in South Africa under apartheid and to connect the politics of the past to the present. Sept. 13-Nov. 7. Goya Contemporary, 3000 Chestnut Ave. Opening reception 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 13. Free. goyacontemporary.com.

The artist John Ruppert's solo show at the C. Grimaldis Gallery this fall will include this digitally reimagined photo of a quarry in Italy.
The artist John Ruppert's solo show at the C. Grimaldis Gallery this fall will include this digitally reimagined photo of a quarry in Italy. (John H. Ruppert / C. Grimaldis Gallery)

‘John Ruppert: Terra Firma’

For more than 35 years, Ruppert has used such modern materials as cast metal and video to respond to the natural world. His solo show will incorporate a large-scale installation of bittersweet vines with digitally manipulated photos taken at an Italian rock quarry, as well as metal casts of tree fragments splintered by lightning. Sept. 21-Nov. 14 at the C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St. Opening reception 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 21. Free. cgrimaldisgallery.com.

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‘Arts of Asia’

Much of the Walters Art Museum's spectacular collection of Asian art has been off view for the past three years during a $10.4 million renovation. Starting Oct. 1 and continuing indefinitely, the public will get a new view of these artworks showcased in redesigned galleries in the museum's former garden and carriage house. 600 N. Charles St. Free. thewalters.org.

Tomás Saraceno's "Many suns and worlds." The Argentine artist will have an installation at the BMA.
Tomás Saraceno's "Many suns and worlds." The Argentine artist will have an installation at the BMA. (Vanhaerents Art Collection)

‘Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Orbits’

The Argentine artist is creating a luminous sculpture of spheres and ropes that will be suspended across two stories of the Baltimore Museum of Art's East Lobby. Visitors will walk through the sculpture to view smaller examples of the artist's version of spider webs. Oct. 1-June, 2018 10 Art Museum Drive. Free. artbma.org.

‘The Great Mystery Show’

The American Visionary Art Museum's newest yearlong themed exhibit explores mystery as the thread linking discoveries in art, science and the spiritual realm. The show will include words and images by astronauts, mystery writers, poets and psychics. Oct. 7-Sept. 2, 2018. 800 Key Highway. $9.95-$15.95 museum admission. avam.org.

‘Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage’

In 2003, a trove of personal documents and artifacts relating to the Jewish community in Iraq was recovered from the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters. On exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland are 23 of these items, plus a video detailing repair efforts. Oct. 15-Jan. 15, 2018. 15 Lloyd St. $2-$10 museum admission. jewishmuseummd.org.

‘Sydney Shen’

Shen, a New York-based artist, combines such everyday objects as video games, advertisements for hearses, perfume reviews and ashtray paraphernalia into mischievous and mysterious compositions. Oct. 21 through Nov. 18. Springsteen Gallery, 502 W. Franklin St. Free. springsteengallery.com.

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‘Doors Open Baltimore’

In just four years, the self-guided tour sponsored by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation (and based at the Maryland Historical Society) has become so popular that the one-day event has expanded to two. Peek inside over 50 of the city's architecturally rich and historically significant buildings. Oct. 28-29. 201 W. Monument St. Free. doorsopenbaltimore.org.

‘Paul Rucker: LiveMore’

Paul Rucker's new community engagement project explores the links between Liverpool, England, and Baltimore as hubs for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Participants will respond to prompts and create their own artworks, stories and performances that will become part of the project. Nov. 17-Dec. 2 at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. Free. creativealliance.org.

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