As founding director of Galerie Myrtis (GM), I am pleased to present works by historical and contemporary artists whose voices offer discourse on our cultural, social, and political landscapes while presenting the beauty of our humanity.- Myrtis Bedolla
Galerie Myrtis is an emerging blue-chip gallery and art advisory specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century American art with a focus on work created by African American artists. The gallery opened its doors in 2006 to utilize the visual arts to raise awareness for artists who deserve recognition for their contributions in artistically portraying our cultural, social, historical, and political landscapes; and to recognize art movements that paved the way for freedom of artistic expression.
Represented is a diverse roster of mid-career to established artists who have achieved regional, national, and international acclaim. Their works have been featured in many important museum exhibitions and part of the permanent collections such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.
In 2022, by invitation of the European Cultural Centre the gallery participated in the 59th Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy as part of the sixth edition of the contemporary art exhibition Personal Structures. The gallery presented The Afro-futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined an exhibition featuring the works of Tawny Chatmon, Larry Cook, Morel Doucet, Monica Ikegwu, M. Scott Johnson, Delita Martin, Arvie Smith, and Felandus Thames
NY Times: Christie’s and a Baltimore Gallery to Sell Work by Black Artists by Robin Pogrebin (Click here to read full article)
Artnet News: A Black-Owned Baltimore Gallery Aims to Change the Game by Partnering Directly With Christie’s by Vittoria Benzine (Click here to read full article)
Personal Structures: The Beauty and Confidence of Blackness (Click here to read full article)
Still Hold Me Close by Delita Martin
Squaring the Flower II, No. 12 by Susan Goldman
GM will highlight works by Delita Martin (b. 1972) a master printmaker who portrays Black women as magical beings that possess the power to transcend their black skin and exist in a spiritual form. Martin’s subjects “occupy liminal landscapes that are defined by color, pattern, and texture.” These varying landscapes are what Martin refer to as “veilscapes” where the spirit world and the waking world coexist. Through the weaving of history and storytelling, Martin’s offers narratives on the power of women whose stories are not only layered in textures and techniques but also symbolism.
The gallery will honor Nelson Stevens (1938-2022) and his contribution to the Black Arts Movement. Stevens was a printmaker and painter, who collaborated with master printmaker Curlee Holton of Raven Fine Art Editions to produce Spirit Sister and Primal Force. Stevens was a member of AfriCOBRA (African Commune for Bad Relevant Artists) whose aesthetic lens was rooted in activism and a commitment to creating imagery that railed against racism through positive, powerful, uplifting imagery.
Lavett Ballard (b.1970) is a mixed media collage artist who describes her work as a re-imagined visual narrative of African descent people. Ballard’s use of imagery reflects social issues affecting primarily Black women. In Ballard’s new body of work, she explores the complex history of Black female bodies concerning perceptions of Beauty and by elevating her subjects to a celestial plane.
Susan Goldman (b.1958) is a printmaker whose “Squaring the Flower” series explores geometry and decorative form. Love of pattern and underlying passion for color and beauty informs playful layering and improvisation. The flower gets stripped away, covered up, and over-printed, yet it always finds a way back in, like a melodious refrain or a cherry blossom in springtime.
Arvie Smith (b. 1938) is a painter who collaborated with master printmaker Curlee Holton of Raven Fine Art Editions to produce Dem Golden Slippers. Smith’s imagery transforms the history of oppressed and stereotyped segments of the American experience into lyrical two-dimensional masterworks. Smith’s work is commonly of psychological images revealing deep sympathy for the dispossessed and marginalized members of society in an unrelenting search for beauty, meaning, and equality.
Lavett Ballard, Susan Goldman, Delita Martin, Arvie Smith and Nelson Stevens.