#Baltimore #StreetArt Sampling

Roughly three hours - this is the time I had to explore Baltimore - not nearly enough time in a city with such a rich heritage and many things to do.   Maddeningly insufficient when I realized Baltimore's focus on street art murals via the Baltimore Mural Project which has added over 250 murals in the city since 1975 and the Baltimore Open Walls project organized by Gaia, a Baltimore based street artist.  

 Gaia

Gaia

To focus my efforts (and feel a sense of do-ability), I decided to spend my time in the Station North Arts & Entertainment district using the map published on the Open Walls Project site.  Tip for a novice Baltimore driver - pay attention to one way street signs - let's just say perhaps there were times I missed the sign and ended up going the wrong way which I only noticed when I realized cars were parked facing the other direction...thank heavens there wasn't a lot of traffic!

On my way there, I found these two cuties by Pixel Pancho (a FAV street artist) and a new fav Nether 410, a Baltimore street artist.  

Really cool pieces by Jaz

A stunning piece by Ernest Shaw

Overunder tribute to Dennis Livingston, a Baltimore activist - the detail on this was incredible!  

Vhils is always easy on the eye!  Love the context of this...

For all my love of murals, I also love graffiti!  There's something very cool about lettering and the creative way graffiti artists work - it's a different genre equally visually interesting and communicative.

A highlight of my walk was a visit to Graffiti Alley, an L-shaped alley off Howard, between Howard and Maryland.  A legal place in the city for Graffiti.

For all the pictures - view slide show:

I finished my walk at Red Emma's, a radical bookstore, coffee shop, and learning space - The Baltimore Free School.  According to Red Emma's mission:

It’s possible to build institutions that directly put values like sustainability and democracy to work. . . to build a resource for movements for social justice. . . . to be “radical” is to go to the root of the problem, to not be afraid to attack root causes rather than be distracted by the symptoms on the surface.
— Red Emma's Mission https://redemmas.org/about

The purpose of the Baltimore Free School is stated as "collective learning and participatory education. . . . the empowerment of the people of all ages and backgrounds to share and learn is vital to the health of any community. . . . we work toward creating a space where the exchange of ideas can occur. . .a space where we can learn to relate to other in new and meaningful ways."  Wow!  This truly speaks to my heart about what I believe the focus of education should be.  Approaches grounded solely in Information transmission type methods and purposes are inadequate to inspire, empower, and foster learning and the raising of individual and collective consciousness beyond material conditions and historical situatedness.  Education is not value free - it's rooted in a philosophy and assumptions about the human persons and our shared being.   We must create those spaces where people identify and name biases and assumptions influencing thinking, decision making, and interactions....education should be about this...MUST be about this.  Our human home and sense of interconnectedness demands this persistent attention to consciousness raising and transformation.  Okay - I'm on a soap box (smile).  I had not heard of the Baltimore Free School before this trip - I'm so happy I ended my walk here - the mixture of things I love - street art, graffiti, coffee, books, and education.  Really looking forward to a return trip to Baltimore!  Lots more to explore, murals to see!

Sources

Baltimore Free School.  Retrieved from http://freeschool.redemmas.org/

Baltimore Mural Project.  Retrieved from http://www.promotionandarts.org/arts-council/baltimore-mural-program

Baltimore Open Walls Project.  Retrieved from http://openwallsbaltimore.com

Ernest Shaw article.  Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/baltimore-artist-creates-images-to-uplift-communities

Gaia website.  Retrieved from http://www.gaiastreetart.com

Graffiti Alley Article Retrieved from https://hiddenbaltimore.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/baltimores-graffiti-alley/

Nether 410 website.  Retrieved from http://www.nether410.com

Overunder website.  Retrieved from http://eriktburke.com/

Pixel Pancho website.  Retrieved from https://www.behance.net/PIXELPANCHO

Red Emma's website.  Retrieved from https://redemmas.org/

Station North Arts & Entertainment District.  Retrieved from http://www.stationnorth.org

Vhils website.  Retrieved from http://www.alexandrefarto.com/