A 2019 project marveling at love in all its poignant mystery, surprise, and messiness.
Anchored by hundreds of drawings by Peter inspired by actual love letters, the two-site exhibition (Area 405 and Maryland Art Place) was organized around eight themes and featured free public events for each, offering heart-opening performances, inspirational stories, communal sharing, and artistic uplift.
The exhibition included works by Atsuko Chirikjian, Loring Cornish, Pat Dennis, Phylicia Ghee, Ken Royster, Ernest Shaw, Piper Shepard, and Exsul Van Helden, whose art invoked the themes of each of the eight exhibition sections.
“Everyone has had a personal experience that will resonate with this show. It’s pretty much a miracle.”
—Amy Cavanaugh, Executive Director, Maryland Art Place
Inspirational stories and songs of family, defined both conventionally and otherwise: the unconditional love afforded a child by a parent or grandparent; sons and daughters honoring fathers and mothers; loving whomever we see as family, be it under our roofs or in our communities.
Exploring how we express the inexpressible through music, words and art—love in all its ineffable hues. The event featured spoken-word artist Kondwani Fidel, playwright Rich Espey, violist Maria Lambros and pianist Marian Hahn, artist Atsuko Chirikjian, and writers who contributed their words to the project.
Taking place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s Arrow indulged in romantic love: Nicole and Alonzo LaMont with a tale of stolen moments blooming into a marriage; cabaret performer Betsey Hobelmann honoring 18 years of marriage with a song; husband, father, scholar-activist, storyteller and drummer David Fakunle praising his love; and more.
Such Sweet Sorrow
In letters of condolence, missives written directly to deceased loved ones, eulogies spoken at funerals, and more, Such Sweet Sorrow drew on the balm of words at times of our greatest pain, when loss seems insurmountable and yet love shines bright. Such Sweet Sorrow featured storyteller and performer Maria Broom, and singer Simone Speed.
Those caught up in substance use—either themselves or in their loved ones—offered testimonials of undying love and unbreakable connection. Wild Horses featured participants from Baltimore recovery programs, and singer-songwriters QueenEarth and Kirk Wulf, whose ballads paid tribute to the theme of love when confronted with such hardship.
Drive All Night
An event about the distances traveled and the hurdles overcome to assure love is transcendent: physical and emotional separation may challenge bonds, but time and again love still wins. Clarinda Harriss offered intimate poetry on love’s presence despite dementia, and others shared testimonials of fortitude and overcoming.
Love Thy Self
Those whose letters inspired drawings by Peter offered testimonials of finding love for and toward themselves. The event featured singer-songwriter ellen cherry, who presented a series of songs on recovering one’s sense of self, and artist Phylicia Ghee, whose focus on mindfulness illuminates the lovable within each of us.
The Thousand Things
Varied stories and an eclectic mix of art and performance underscored love’s infusing spirit in so many corners of our lives. The event included spontaneous musical responses to select love letter drawings performed by percussionist Tom Goldstein and trombonist Patrick Crossland, and singer Simone Speed.
INTERESTED IN CONNECTING?
Do you have ideas, thoughts, or questions you’d like to share with Peter? Do you want to introduce yourself and your work to him? Perhaps explore a collaboration or involvement in one of his projects? Then Peter wants to hear from you.