these are them

curated by Justin Hoekstra

opening reception  |  february  4  |  7-10pm

artists' roundtable  |  February 5  |  2-4pm


Jordan Faye Contemporary is pleased to present, THESE ARE THEM a new group exhibition curated by Justin Hoekstra, artists included in this exhibition are Rachel Hayden, Marisa LaGuardia, Natovian McLeod, Ian Murphy, Alexander Reynolds, Julia Ribeiro, Kevin Runyon, and Esther Yi. This latest exhibition features paintings by eight emerging Baltimore artists, and Opens on Saturday February 4th, 7-10pm. The exhibition runs through Saturday March 4, 2017. Jordan Faye Contemporary is located at 218 W Saratoga St on the Top floor of the MAP building, our gallery hours are Wednesday – Thursday 2–6pm Friday & Saturday 12–5pm & Sunday by Appt. 



These are painters

They are all hunting for that magic lever which releases painting from language

They are connected through their engagement with painting and Baltimore

They are all doing this work in addition to the work of surviving

The painters in this show are working along the faultlines within the discipline

Each is possessed of a unique mode of engagement with the materials and their history

All are working in the realm of painting and exploiting various strategies to make something that they wanted or needed to see

Uncertainness serves to further unite these works

It is not a time of peace that these artists work in

Ours is an existence of precariousness

Hurtling through the early years of the 21st century we find ourselves beset on all sides by towering challenges which threaten our very existence. This generation of humans will need to figure out how to deal with a hyperconnected world that is deeply wounded and has not yet settled on a long term strategy for how to share the resources of the planet in an equitable fashion even as those very resources dwindle and become otherwise degraded. While we have developed technology with the capacity to virtually eradicate all forms of human suffering we refuse to deploy it in such a way.

In the work of each of these artists there exists evidence of the many broken promises of the contemporary world. Shattered and separated from one another by the system and for the system we can often feel crushed under the weight of systems of power and control that were created to serve capitalism and keep us fighting one another for scraps. Each of these artists in their own way refuses to support that system which masquerades as meritocracy. These painters are blazing new paths forward out of a system wherein there need to be losers in order for them to ‘win’. This generation is less likely than any other in American history to achieve a greater standard of living and live a longer life than their own parents, yet despite this hostile environment these people are choosing to make art. These artists give me hope.    

– Justin Hoekstra



Rachel Hayden is from Cincinnati, and she now paints in Baltimore. She serves food and teaches Pre-K museum classes sometimes, and she also makes pinch pots and coil pots. Favorite things include roller skating, painting nails, french fries, and pop-up books.


Natovian McLeod is an artist and educator working in Baltimore, MD. McLeod earned a BFA in General Fine Arts with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She has been awarded Maryland Teacher of Promise 2016 and a certificate of merit from Arts Educator, Dr. Justin Sutters. At MICA she has worked intensively with faculty and its board members to restructure its core curriculum to focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization.


Marisa LaGuardia is a Youngstown Ohio native who is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Texas, Austin. She graduated summa cum lade with a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy during the spring of 2013. She has worked in a number of museums: MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), Glenstone (Potomac, MD), and the Butler Institute of American Art Museum (Youngstown, OH). She has shown work in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Georgia, and is continuing to pursue a career as a painter. Recent shows include Paraphrase (Center Space, Austin TX), Surface Tension (Current Space, Baltimore, MD) and Stopping Traffic (Milk and Honey, Baltimore, MD).


Kevin Michael Runyon has spent most of his life in and around Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC. Runyon’s initial work was in the field of digital photography and film, he also has a background in graphic design which can be felt in his paintings – they are a geometric nod to cheap patterns; with Day-Glo pigments and odd color combinations, overlapping painting windows yet they still have a painterly sensibility. Runyon creates a cross between wallpaper, op art, and the drippy bodily abstraction of midcentury. His paintings often utilize Trompe L’oeil to create false depth and activate optical illusions within the artwork. His work is inherently campy in that body politics, it’s blatant use of color combinations that question good taste in painting. The paintings have the size and presence of traditional Abstract Expressionist images. Kevin Michael Runyon has had two solo exhibitions, as well as having been featured on MPT’s television program Artworks: Season 3 and he’s been awarded a Public Art Commission for the Baltimore Office of the Promotion of the Arts. Runyon continues to live and work in Baltimore, MD.


Julia Ribeiro was born in 1992, in the suburbs outside of New York City. Ribeiro took interest in music and performing/visual art. She participated in local performances and stage productions during the year and spent her summers teaching painting at an arts camp in the woods of New Milford, CT. In 2010 she attended Loyola University New Orleans, where she initially studied psychology/early child development. After deciding that psychology was for chumps, Julia focused her energy on visual art. She transferred schools to study animation and illustration at The Maryland Institute College of Art where she spent two semesters sitting in front of computer screens, yelling at faulty scanning equipment, possibly taking years off of her life until deciding to switch her major to painting. She graduated with her BFA in 2015. Post graduation Julia moved back to New York where she worked in gallery administration for spaces in Manhattan and Brooklyn while maintaining a steady studio practice out of her parent’s basement. She is currently living/working in Baltimore, MD pursuing her MFA at the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting.


Ian Murphy was born in Trenton, New Jersey where he spent most of his life.  His interest in art started with drawing dinosaurs, then dragons, and eventually nothingness.  He studied fine art at the Mercer County Community College in NJ before transferring to the Maryland Institute College of Art where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Painting in 2015.  Ian’s work explores how common/cheap materials can be elevated through labor to create objects of intense desire.  Synthesizing design cues from objects, icons, ritual objects, and other stimuli that provoke a visual-emotional response, the artist seeks to open up a dialogue about consumerism/materialism, popular culture, and social and economic class in a world where a pair of Nike sneakers can cost more than the median US income.


Esther Yi was born in Los Angeles, California in 1992, but grew up in Centreville, Virginia. Yi’s interest in art began at an early age and her love for oil painting grew in the last two years of high school. By her senior year, she was was a awarded an Art Medallion of Honor this led to a solo exhibition at the school. Yi graduated in 2016, with a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work currently deals with consciousness and unconsciousness, as each painting develops systematically and organically, capturing the dynamic energy that's always in a state of possible change.


Alexander Reynolds was born in 1983 in Dayton, OH. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His recent work investigates the emotions that can be experienced during a romantic affair. These issues are expressed through large oil paintings and drawings. Reynolds believes these mediums allow for complete control over how the image is constructed. The landscape and atmosphere of them act as a metaphor for the newness, beauty, intensity of this unexplainable phenomenon. This body of work was created in order to make an attempt to understand the complexities of love, lust, sex & relationships. Reynolds currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD.