Intersni Kazki (Kiev, Ukraine) – On North Avenue Market – Maryland & North Ave. – Photos by Piper Watson
It has been an exciting few weeks for the Open Walls Baltimore project, and it’s safe to say that things are officially off to an incredibly dynamic start. The Open Walls sums up this project best by saying:
“Open Walls Baltimore is an unparalleled street art project in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District. The finest and most widely recognized street artists from around the world are mounting an outdoor exhibition of extraordinary murals that enlivens public spaces, stimulates community revitalization and national dialogue, and attracts visitors and investors to Station North. Open Walls Baltimore will build through April and May with the installation of more than twenty additional murals in time for a Final Friday celebration on May 25th.”
Thus far, OWB had remained relatively low key and under-publicized, with only 8 of the 24 local and international artists having completed murals around Station North and only 5 weeks left to go before the project’s completion. However, last week an artist discussion with Freddy Sam from South Africa and the official OWB Opening Party at Area 405, served as a celebration and entry point for on-lookers, community members, and the un-informed to get a more tangible glimpse at the vision that OWB curator Gaia and his fellow street artists have for Station North and the change that is ‘a brewing in this neighborhood.
Freddy Sam Mural (Cape Town, South Africa) – On Everyman Theatre- Lafayette & Charles St. – Photos by Piper Watson
On the corner of Lafayette and Charles, with his giant painted elephant and beloved Cape Town, Table Mountain mural serving as a dramatic backdrop, artist Freddy Sam shared his philosophy to a small crowd that, “art is inside everyone- it’s up to you to bring it out.” He remarked that the feedback he’d been receiving while creating the mural, now on the side of Everyman Theater, had been equally positive and negative. He let some of the feedback guide his creative process, but in the end he added, “it’s just a mural,” and that the important aspect was that it was now a new reason for the community to start a dialogue with one another. A recipient to numerous international awards and achievements, Freddy Sam’s mission as an art activist is to inspire through art. In a recent interview with the Arts and Healing Network, he said, “Color creates energy, energy creates inspiration, and inspiration creates change. It is our responsibility to inspire ourselves to inspire others to inspire the change. Art is the remedy for this.” Well said, and I think that further supports the OWB project mission and it’s transformation of Station North into a visually thriving creative community that any passer-by would be able to detect.
Also recently competed are these walls:
To stay on top of Open Walls Baltimore, please visit http://www.openwallsbaltimore.com/