Frances Wertimer is a Baltimore-based artist and educator with roots in New Orleans and New York City.

She received her BA in Philosophy from Skidmore College and her MFA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was Artist and Curator-in-Residence at Jubilee Arts Baltimore in 2019, and has exhibited in the Gulf South, Midatlantic and Northeast. Her work is informed by the capacity of color to inspire mood and magic, the history of women’s role in spirituality, internet culture and lived experience. 

:: An informal interview with Frances

What are your preferred pronouns? 
Where do you call home? 
What is your program and year of graduation? 
MFA Community Arts 2020
What inspired you to take the leap of going to graduate school? 
I wanted to give my desire for artistic growth the time and attention it deserved.
How has this scholarship impacted your thinking and process during your time in graduate school? 
The scholarship is what made grad school possible for me.
What have you been working on? Share the driving questions and inspiration that informs your work as an artist, designer, educator and/or activist. 
What inspires my artistic practice is the anthropology of religious practices, and women’s role in spirituality. I am particularly interested in cultural cross-pollination of ritual and belief. Recently I have gotten into making candles/wax sculpture, which has morphed into wax paintings that explore the notion of the veil as a borderline between realms. I’m also motivated by my conviction that every child in America deserves access to free, quality education. I’m currently employed by Baltimore City Schools as an art teacher. Working with children makes me a happier person and creates a reciprocal relationship with my personal practice where I’m constantly inspired by my students and vice versa. I love being able to share the joy of experimentation and creativity with young people, working in a collaborative community, and being part of a union.