All Photos by Martha Cooper
It has been exactly five months to the day, since I heard Ben Stone, Executive Director of Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., present the plan for the Open Walls Baltimore Project to community residents at a New Greenmount West Community Association meeting. During this presentation, he showed slides of what the murals might look like, and solicited people to contribute their wall to the project.
And it has been just under three weeks since hundreds more gathered at a vacant lot, to celebrate the finale of this transformative art event.
Throughout this time, we have kept you posted on the latest Open Walls related news, published photos of recently completed murals, and covered various happenings surrounding the massive public art project taking place in Station North.
This article marks the end of Phase 1 of the project, which included all of the planning, coordinating, and executing of the nearly 25 large scale paintings. The paint has all dried, the lifts returned, and the artists have traveled home. Now Phase 2 has begun with one simple goal—get people to see the murals!
As a proud resident of the CopyCat, and with the What Weekly World Headquarters located at Load of Fun, I spend most of my hours in Station North. Accordingly, I have found myself, over the last few months, watching, listening, and observing not only the creation of the walls themselves, but the buzz that the project has produced.
In the end, I can say this: In the last several weeks, I have encountered endless bikers touring my neighborhood in search of murals. I have observed people line up for tours, ask for directions to the murals, and picnic in front of them. I have watched populations that rarely mingle, gather together around the work and discuss their likes and dislikes. And I have met tourists who came to Baltimore solely to experience Open Walls.
The goal of this massive project was to create excitement, drive visitors, foster relationships, open communication, and increase visibility of Station North. With these goals in mind, I simply have two words—Mission Accomplished!
The most recent series of completed walls includes murals from five Baltimore artists: Josh Van Horn, Gary Kachadourian, Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn, and Mata Ruda, along with four national and international artists: Momo (New Orleans), Ever (Buenos Aires), Stain (New York City), Swoon (New York City), and Sten and Lex (Italy).
As Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., moves into Phase 2 of Open Walls, they now have plans to release a catalog of the murals, create printed maps, and continue to offer tours. If you have not been out to see this amazing outdoor art gallery, the time is now to make the trip. If you have been fortunate enough to take them in already, now is the time for you to spread the word, and invite others to experience the work of local and international artists, who have teamed together to transform Station North.
Momo (New Orleans) – CIty Arts, 440 E Oliver St:
Nanook (Baltimore) – Barclay and Lanvale:
Ever (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – 10 E North Avenue: