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.
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!
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:
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!
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/