By AFRO Staff

From Aug 27. to Oct. 1, the facade of 2519 N. Charles St. will illuminate with newly commissioned artwork by three Baltimore based artists. Since last year, SHAN Wallace, Akea Brionne Brown and Savannah Wood have engaged in research in the AFRO American Newspapers archives, creating new work inspired by their findings for exhibition. Despite a few hiccups due to the ongoing pandemic, the show is moving forward as a nightly screened projection, visible from the street at the Connect + Collect gallery. The exhibition projection will also be streamed on the Baltimore Museum of Art’s virtual screening room, a new initiative to support local artists during the pandemic.

(Photo Courtesy of

This exhibition marks the first time that artists have been explicitly invited to work within the AFRO’s archives. Following their individual interests, these artists have produced new work inspired by their research. Brown dissects a pamphlet on urban renewal, redacting the language used to promote its cause to reveal its underlying negative effects. Wallace’s animated photo collages combine her own images with photos from the AFRO archives to celebrate nearly a century of Black women’s and girls’ play and labor. Wood follows a genealogical trail, connecting the AFRO’s roots back to a former plantation (now a state park) in Montgomery County. The work produced for this show highlights different artistic approaches to archival inquiry, with Baltimore’s Black communities as a common thread.

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Close Read is produced by Savannah Wood and the AFRO American Newspapers. This project is supported by a grant from the Grit Fund, which is an initiative of Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation. Additional funding was provided by the Awesome Foundation and Afro Charities.