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Loring Cornish: In Each Other’s Shoes

February 13, 2011- September 15, 2011

As a part of the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s celebration of its 50th anniversary year, In Each Other’s Shoes will explicitly acknowledge the shared Jewish and African-american heritage of the Lloyd Street neighborhood.

Cornish uses his own experiences to depict the pain and pride of African Americans and his moral imagination to envision similar feelings in the Jewish community.

Loring Cornish is fast becoming a Baltimore art star, best known for his exquisitely tiled home and studio on Parkwood Avenue. This exhibition presents a new dimension in his work, stemming from his decision to inject a social message into his art.

Two years ago, while completing a civil rights-themed exhibition for Morgan State University, Cornish met a Jewish couple and was touched by their friendship. Suddenly, he says, “Everything changed. I realized I could not use my art to talk about the struggles of only one community. I was struck by the connections between the struggles of Jews and Blacks.”

Cornish took the civil rights mosaics he had already created, “flipped them over,” and began making related pieces on the back, using Jewish motifs. He paired an abstract image of a lynching with the word GHETTO. He backed Target, a mosaic combining images of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy, with the word SHALOM. For the reverse of another work featuring photos of the assassinated leaders he featured the word LIFE in Hebrew and English.

The result is In Each Other’s Shoes, a body of work in which Cornish uses his own experiences to depict the pain and pride of African Americans and his moral imagination to envision similar feelings in another community.  Through this exhibition, he invites us to do the same.

All work on exhibit, courtesy of the artist.

Photo caption: Loring Cornish on his front stoop, 2010. Photo by Ellen Saval.

Loring Cornish: In Each Other’s Shoes is made possible with generous support from:

David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation
Maryland State Arts Council
Cherie Vogelstein Weiner and Eric Weiner
HEBROS
Janine and Robert Frier
Ellen and Paul Saval
Robbey and Kevin Apperson