Open Walls Baltimore Kicks Off

By - Monday, March 12th, 2012

A new public arts program taking place in Baltimore is bringing color to the walls of Station North Arts and Entertainment District and transforming it into a street art destination. Legendary graffiti photographer and 12ozProphet blogger Martha Cooper attended the launch of the program, called Open Walls Baltimore, hosted by the Mayor. Scroll down to read Martha Cooper’s writing and photos from the event: A serious street art project is happening in my hometown of Baltimore and I’m excited to be part of it. Open Walls Baltimore, aka OWB, kicked off last week with a standing-room only press conference in the WindUp Space, an appropriately funky venue. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was in the house and delivered an enthusiastic speech opening with the line, “I love art.” The lucky neighborhood designated to receive the murals is the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. It’s adjacent to the train station and the Bolt bus stop if you’re traveling from NYC. Gaia helped write the grant for the project, select the walls and curate the lineup of international and local artists. Baltimore is an old and beautiful city that, sadly, has fallen on hard times. Architecturally significant buildings and ordinary row-houses, abandoned and boarded up, line the streets. The underlying agenda for murals of course, is to stimulate real estate investment and this can be a double edged sword. However responsible plans are in place to continue to provide reasonably priced housing in the area. PNC Bank, the primary funding source for OWB has a community development program focusing on investments to low and moderate income people. I personally would love to see Baltimore become an international arts destination. This venerable city deserves some love. Photos and Text by Martha Cooper originally posted on her Blog on 12ozProphet.

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