Art Matters | WYPR

Art Matters

First Friday of every month 4:44 PM

"Art Matters" with Baltimore Museum of Art Director Christopher Bedford connects listeners with some of the most interesting and innovative artists working today.  As the 10th director of Maryland's largest art museum, Bedford is recognized as a dynamic leader who recognizes the powerful role that art and artists can play in shaping our society.

Tune in the first Friday of every month to hear how artists from Baltimore and beyond define themselves and their work.

Mark Bradford

Oct 5, 2018

BMA Director Christopher Bedford interviews the acclaimed artist Mark Bradford who represented the U.S. at the Venice Biennale in 2017. The artist talks about the exhibition he created for Venice, its presentation in Baltimore, and about his work with the Greenmount West Community Center.

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day is on view at the BMA through March 3, 2019.

Tavares Strachan

Sep 12, 2018

Christopher Bedford talks with Bahamian-born artist Tavares Strachan about his work with scientists at MIT in Cambridge and the Allen Institute in Seattle, the meaning of his compelling new light installation on the BMA’s historic façade, and his ambitious new project for the Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh.  

Maren Hassinger

Aug 3, 2018
Mitro Hood

Artist Maren Hassinger discuss how her sculptures came to incorporate everyday materials such as newspapers, wire, and plastic bags, as well as her 20-year career as director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The BMA recently opened Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things, a solo exhibition with sculptures, drawings, photographs of performances, and videos that span the artist’s career. The exhibition is on view in the BMA’s contemporary wing through November 25, 2018.

Shinique Smith

Jul 6, 2018
Jason Mandella, Courtesy David Castillo Gallery

Artist Shinique Smith joins Christopher Bedford for a conversation about Baltimore’s influence on her work, the evolution of her artistic practice during her years at the Maryland College Institute of Art, and her current and upcoming projects. Shinique’s work will also be on view at the BMA in an exhibition from The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection in summer 2019.

Oletha DeVane

Jun 1, 2018
Courtesy the artist. ©2018 Oletha DeVane

Maryland-based artist Oletha DeVane joins Christopher Bedford for a conversation about how her work conceptually links the physical and spiritual worlds and is influenced by African and Haitian spiritual traditions. To see examples of her paintings, prints, sculptures, and videos, visit

Meleko Mokgosi

May 4, 2018
Mitro Hood

Botswana-born, New York-based artist Meleko Mokgosi speaks with Christopher Bedford about his new exhibition at the BMA, Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance. Presented in the BMA galleries adjacent to the European Old Masters, the artist’s paintings ask us to consider images of black men and women as embodiments of love, intimacy, and strength in a post-colonial world.

Stephen Towns

Apr 5, 2018
Joseph Hyde

Christopher Bedford talks with Baltimore-based artist Stephen Towns about his first museum exhibition, Rumination and a Reckoning, and his choice to use quilting as a medium to narrate the life of Nat Turner and his 1831 rebellion. Towns is also a Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist whose work will be on view in another exhibition at the BMA June 20 – August 5.

Spencer Finch

Mar 2, 2018
Mitro Hood.

Moon Dust (Apollo 17) transforms the BMA’s majestic Fox Court, evoking in viewers a sense of wonder. For the next seven years, museum visitors can enjoy the sublime light installation by Spencer Finch. For this episode of Art Matters, the New York-based artist spoke with BMA Director Christopher Bedford about Moon Dust and how the installation’s 447 lights and 150 fixtures are a scientifically precise representation of the chemical composition of moon dust gathered during the Apollo 17 mission.

Zöe Charlton

Feb 2, 2018

Chris Bedford and Baltimore-based artist Zöe Charlton discuss the meanings behind her surreal life-size figurative drawings and how people relate to images of bodies.

Senga Nengudi

Jan 5, 2018
Mitro Hood

BMA Director Christopher Bedford delves into the career of performance artist/sculptor Senga Nengudi – from her pioneering work in Los Angeles in the 1970s to recent exhibitions that include more artists of color.

Tomás Saraceno

Dec 1, 2017
Mitro Hood

For this episode of “Art Matters,” BMA Director Christopher Bedford interviews Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno, who recently created a stunning new work titled Entangled Orbits for the BMA’s East Lobby. Chris and Tomás talk about the artist’s fascination with spiders—how they influence his work and how they can help us consider new ways of living in this galaxy.

Amy Sherald

Nov 3, 2017
Christopher Myers

For this episode of “Art Matters,” BMA Director Christopher Bedford interviews Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, who recently received a commission to paint former First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait. Chris and Amy talk about her work as a conceptual portraitist, how the chaotic energy of Lexington Market influenced her work, and how she sees herself in the context of art history.