Art to celebrate black culture

The Baltimore Sun

Artists and craftspeople from around the country will gather at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend for the 14th annual Black Heritage Art Show, which celebrates African-American culture in a wide range of expressions.

Since it began in the Fellowship Hall of Baltimore's New Psalmist Baptist Church in 1995, when six artists attracted several hundred patrons, the event has grown into a three-day event that draws thousands of visitors and showcases more than 100 visual, literary and performing artists, including musicians, poets, dancers and fashion designers.

Visual artists range from painters, sculptors and lithographers to makers of jewelry, ceramics and handmade dolls. Maryland Institute College of Art graduate Larry "Poncho" Brown and Baltimore native Karen Buster are among the exhibitors. Out-of-town artists include Stu McLean of Atlanta and Charles Bibbs of Los Angeles.

Events include a silent auction that will benefit an African-American scholarship fund; a line dancing party with Randy Dennis; "empowering" workshops; an "artist spotlight competition"; and a fashion show featuring the work of Baltimore designer Travis Winkey.

Among the celebrities scheduled to appear are actress and author Jasmine Guy, R&B; recording artist Devon Howard and gospel singer Isaiah Thomas.

The show is organized by Visual Arts Marketing Corp., an events planning and marketing firm founded by Milton and Glenda Boone. This is its 10th year at Baltimore's convention center.

Glenda Boone launched the event because she realized that many black artists were not well represented in the art world, and she wanted to give them a showcase, said spokeswoman Belinda Merritt. "Now it's grown into this large expo," Merritt said. "Every year there's something different."

Edward Gunts

if you go

The 14th annual Black Heritage Art Show runs 11 a.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Hall D of the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. Admission is $8. Call 410-521-0660 or go to blackheritageartshow.com.

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