The second floor of the Motor House is dedicated to studio and working space for more than 18 individual artists and collectives. With a wide array of talent and experience, Motor House artists represent a cross-section of artistic disciplines and cultural diversity found within Baltimore’s various creative communities. Learn about our current roster of artists below:
Brandi Lewis is the creator and designer for Syeko Design House. Syeko, is best described as bazaar unexpected fashion that is inspired by God, Glam Rock and Extreme Art. Syeko is the beginning of a new revolution and its garments are made to target the fashion forward clients that express themselves through fabulous and exotic fashions. Syeko also represents thinking outside the box while achieving your dreams.
Cara Ober founded BmoreArt in 2007 in order to create more visibility and community within the arts in Baltimore. She is the founding editor and publisher of BmoreArt, an online and now print publication about arts and culture in Baltimore. Ober is a Baltimore-based artist, professor, curator, and writer. She currently teaches at MICA and Johns Hopkins University.
Award-winning Actress/Singer/Choreographer CJay Philip was in the Broadway productions of Big the Musical, Street Corner Symphony and Hairspray. CJay has toured as Lorrell in Dreamgirls and Paulette in Legally Blonde. CJay is also an accomplished songwriter and playwright with a sold out European run of her adaptation of Carmen. Since moving to Baltimore, CJay has directed productions at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Centerstage where she is a regular teaching artist. CJay was also director of Marvin’s Trial based o the life of Marvin Gaye presented at the DC Black Theatre Festival. As artistic director of Dance & Bmore, a professional dance company committed to family advocacy through music and dance, CJay has launched a family dance program, FazaFam Family Jam and is a family fitness spokesperson on a series of Baltimore PSA’s. CJay is also a b Grant winner of the 2013 Mary Sawyers Baker Awards.
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is a creative activist collaboration to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent. FORCE believes that a more difficult and honest conversation needs to happen in America to face the realities of sexual violence, and they envision a world where sex is empowering and pleasurable rather than coercive and violent. To promote this needed conversation, FORCE creates art actions to generate media attention and get millions of people talking. FORCE’s current project is the Monument Quilt, an on-going collection of stories from survivors of rape and abuse on red quilt squares. The quilt builds a new culture where survivors are publicly supported, rather than publicly shamed. After touring the country as the project grows, the Monument Quilt will blanket the National Mall in fall 2017.
JazzyStudios, owned by photography duo Jeff and Aisha Butler, started as a result of Jeff Butler’s love of fashion and photography. The studio has grown to include a family of associate photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists, designers, wardrobe stylists, models, and more. The studio’s atmosphere has developed a great reputation which has led to JazzyStudios’ growing list of clientele which has expanded to include connections all over the United States and abroad. Over the years, Jeff and Aisha have used workshop-like platforms to encourage and inspire others desiring to fulfill their dreams. They also use their talents to volunteer and give back to causes that strengthen individual lives and communities. Family is very important to them and you’ll very often here them say, “once you come through our doors, you’re family”.
Jeffrey Gangswisch is a founding member of the Baltimore-based new media collective strikeWare and his most recent work experiments with augmented and virtual reality installations.
Jules Rosskam is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and educator. Through the use of autoethnography and hybrid forms, Rosskam’s interdisciplinary practice investigates the means by which we construct individual and collective histories and identities.
“I’m interested in exploring the relationship between what nature shows us and what my mind’s eye wants. Between what is seen and what is imagined. Sometimes my perception or reading of references seem to take precedence; and at other times, nature proves to be a wondrous source of inspiration and I approach my subjects naturalistically. Just to get how things look – to me. Plain and bare.
By nature, I do not just mean the beauty of the wild regions or the bucolic charm of the countryside. My resources can also be found in the facts and objects and images of my immediate environment. They could be the rooftops of a city, people’s faces, plain forms and shapes, figurative or abstract. I understand the painting process involves looking both outward and inward.
Currently, I am working on cityscapes, and trying to include figurative elements in it. They might result in naturalistic images. Or, I might translate city images as – the combined textures of images put together as a group: soft brush lined form, hard-edged geometric shapes, illusion of brick walls, plain straight lines, and so on.”
“Black Woman in Fiber is a sacred and intimate calling and connection between a black woman’s skin and spirit. Each piece of fiber is made carefully and designed by the guides of the ancestors of Linnea Poole. The fiber visuals are worn and designed in forms of Habatai silks, indigo dyes, and colorful raw tulle. Each black woman that is photographed is not told or is placed into any particular poses, they are all told to react to the fiber and their actions are captured through the lens.”
Megan Lewis is a professional illustrator. Utilizing various mediums, She aims to create works of art that focus upon stories that reflect a critical view of social, historical and cultural issues. Lewis is a freelance artist living in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and has recently taken on the role as muralist, her latest mural “Lady Liberty Please Know Thy Self” made national news with singer Alicia keys on A&E Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America. She was a 2014 – 2015 Urban Arts Leadership Member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (UALP) and a fellow/education assistant at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
“I was drawn to the world of documentary filmmaking because I wanted to explore ideas and to tell stories. I wanted to give voice to the unheard. I wanted the challenge the status quo. I wanted the world to be a more fair place.
I share the director Saul Zaentz’s conviction that film has the power to change our way of seeing the world and often work with societies’ most vulnerable – failed asylum seekers, families of women murdered by ex-partners, alzheimer’s patients, child “brides” of child soldiers, the newly-released from prison. These are the stories that I am compelled to fight for – the stories of the disenfranchised, forbidden … forgotten … ignored … thrown away people.
In all of my filmmaking, I set out to create a safe place for contributors to explore their innermost thoughts and feelings and openly reveal their unique identity to others via the camera.”
SHAN Wallace is an award-winning visual artist, educator and freedom fighter from East Baltimore, MD.Inspired by the harsh racial, social and economic realities of her surroundings in Baltimore, SHAN learned about the importance of service, the power of collaboration and the effects of social change at an early age. Now, she uses her lens, collage and in situ installations as the basis of her work, demonstrating the cultural and political narratives of black life, confronting oppressive politics and histories within communities of the African diaspora, and challenging ideas surrounding existing collections and archives of Blackness.
Wolfer Productions is a documentary film company with production experience in over twenty countries. We have been telling award-winning stories of women’s rights, humanitarian efforts, international development, and the plight of orphans. Our films have been featured in festivals, humanitarian conferences, PBS affiliates, and on Hulu.com. Our productions have also gained press attention in the San Francisco Chronicle, CNN.com, a variety of internet media, and local newspapers.