Skip to content



Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams Curates “Just Below the Surface” at Ulysses Hotel in Baltimore

Artist Derrick Adams, with strong ties to Baltimore, curates “Just Below the Surface” with the Ulysses hotel, featuring the work of Nicholas Wisniewski.

Now through July, “Just Below the Surface” is on view at the Swann House Gallery in the Uylsses Hotel in Baltimore. Curated by artist Derrick Adams, the show features pieces by Nicholas Wisniewski as a nod to the strength of Baltimore’s local arts community.

Showcasing Baltimore-based Artists at Ulysses Hotel’s new Swann House Gallery

Derrick Adams Photo by Quintin Parson.

In his latest programming endeavor, Adams collaborates with the Ulysses Hotel, an eclectic 1912 property in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. “Just Below the Surface” is the first iteration of Adams’ latest curated series of artist installations, entitled “Beautiful Decay,” at Ulysses Hotel’s Swann House Gallery. The programming will feature Baltimore-based local artists, shining a light on community brilliance. 

“Baltimore is full of creative energy and talented artists, all over the city,” said Adams. “For this reason, I’ve partnered with Ulysses Hotel as guest curator at their new Swann Gallery to showcase some of the locals I feel deserve a spotlight and recognition for their amazing work.”

Derrick Adams Photo by Quintin Parson.

As a new rotating exhibition space, Swann House is located in a historic and charming townhouse as an extension of the hotel. For this project, the space is more than a venue: the interior of the house works in a direct and evocative conversation with Wisniewski’s pieces, performing a dialogue between the artwork and its surroundings. 

Derrick Adams Photo by Quintin Parson.

Nicholas Wisniewski Engages with Baltimore’s Rebirth

Currently on view now, the work of Baltimore-based artist and builder Wisniewski explores the complicated intersection and intricate interplay between physical space, social dynamics, and human behavior. With “Just Below the Surface,” the artist considers Baltimore’s abandoned spaces as a rich source of inspiration for his artwork.

“This current body of work began with a desire to peel back and look behind—to understand the materials that construct both physical spaces and the conceptual space of, for instance, the gallery. I started cutting into my paintings to reveal the wall behind. Then the wall itself became the medium,” said Wisniewski. 

Made with elements left behind at abandoned local spaces and community construction materials, the selection of pieces for “Just Below the Surface” stemmed from Wisniewski’s toying with slabs of drywall from abandoned locations in the city. 15 years later, the exhibition represents the rich layers beneath Baltimore’s buildings, as Wisniewski plays with what surrounds him in the city to tackle its current condition and plant ideas of rebirth and regeneration. 

Derrick Adams Photo by Quintin Parson.

Through his carvings, drawings, and prints, Wisniewski probes the impact of Baltimore’s inhabited spaces and the broader societal ramifications of urban neglect, juxtaposed with the potential for restoration., “I’ve started to depict not only the building itself but the structures people have added to reinforce or reconstruct it: scaffolding, bracing, underpinning. These sincere, often failed, acts of repair or simple attention are evidence of a negotiated but enduring utopianism,” said Wisniewski.

Layers of the house’s walls are peeled back, revealing fragments of the building’s wooden boards and multiple layers of paint from the old townhouse. The gallery’s exposed materials echo Wisniewski’s exploration of the deep layers of an urban space, a testament to both Adams and Wisniewski’s goals to uplift Baltimore through art.

Derrick Adams Photo by Quintin Parson.





Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.