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Two of Baltimore's hottest artists — Amy Sherald and Stephen Towns — to host public talk about their work

Two of Baltimore’s hottest contemporary artists, Amy Sherald and Stephen Towns, will have a public conversation about their work next week.

The pair, who have enjoyed a recent string of high-profile successes, will discuss how they create their quite different portraits at 7 p.m. March 21 at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St. in Homeland

Sherald, 44, made a national splash with the unveiling of her official portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama. The 38-year-old Towns recently opened his debut museum show, “Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning” at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Sherald is best known for painting her African-American subjects with gray skin, which she has described as “a way for me to subversively comment about race without feeling as though I’m excluding the viewer.”

Towns has been praised for melding the traditions of portraiture with quilting to create an entirely new, hybrid art form that tackles such tough subjects as the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831.

The discussion at the church is free. But that 7 p.m. conversation is preceded by a dinner at 6 p.m. costing $10. To sign up for the dinner or for more details, visit

Read more: Michelle Obama portrait: What they're saying about Baltimore artist's big reveal »

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