Working with the Peale Center to uncover its past life as the first public high school open to Black students in Baltimore, this exhibition evolved to examine how the history of education continues to shape the city in the present day. A collaborative effort with Christopher Kojzar and JLS Gangwisch in strikeWare Collective, I acted as conceptual and technical lead on these two pieces among others.

The Nine Graduates

Gertrude Anderson ­— Nellie Anderson — Gertrude Deaver — Fannie McCabe — Mollie Taylor — Violet Thompson — William Murray — Walter Scott — Mamie Neale

Participants are invited to interact with this sculpture by dipping their fingers in chalk dust and gently rubbing the engraved text to expose it.

In 1889, these nine students became the first African Americans to graduate public high school in Baltimore City. They went on to lead well-documented and often extraordinary lives, tracked here through articles in various newspapers, predominantly the Baltimore Afro-American.

85° - 60°

Participants are invited to gently lay their hands on these two desks, heated and cooled to 85 and 60 degrees respectively.

Many Baltimore City Public Schools still lack adequate HVAC. If the internal temperature of their school registers above 85° or below 60°, students will be dismissed for the day.

Full documentation of this exhibition:

Artist’s home page of Mollye Bendell, a contemporary artist