Can you imagine having too much love in your life? I have yet to hear someone say, “Gee, I just wish people didn’t like me so much” or “my birthday party was amazing except for all of the people who kept being nice to me” or how about, “there’s just way too much love in this world and we’re not going to take it anymore!”
Love is the universal constant as far as sentient beings are concerned and this is why the Baltimore Love Project resonates.
The Baltimore Love Project hooked up with Innovate Baltimore. The offspring: Innovate Love, a themed art auction benefiting two creative organizations who are headed in a similar direction down entirely different paths. Over forty nationally renowned artists were represented at the event.
In the passed weeks, we’ve seen the buzz scroll across social network feeds and we clicked on the pictures to see the clever campaign that has much of Baltimore talking. The Baltimore Love Project is an ambitious undertaking by artist Michael Owen to give the gift of twenty murals depicting the word ‘love’ spelled out with hands and fingers. Since becoming aware of the project, those involved have been on our short list of people to meet. When we heard they were throwing a party with the fine folks at Innovate Baltimore at the site of one of the most interesting architectural endeavors in recent history, we reckoned it might be a good idea to go.
Innovate Baltimore is an organization that aims to foster the growth of a technology-based creative economy in the Baltimore area. Groups like Innovate Baltimore play a critical role in the development of new opportunities and trends in the city by providing an occasion for forward thinking individuals to come together and create the connections necessary to grow a larger movement.
On a personal note, it is our belief that technology holds the promise of a more transparent society that will give each individual the freedom to make choices based upon knowledge that comes from many sources as opposed to the mere handful that control the media today.
We all know that Jordan Faye Block has charisma, but this is unreal. Madonna much? You might be wondering how Jordan ended up in a large bathtub full of strapping young men in suits. We’re not at leisure to disclose the details, but if you swing by her gallery I’m sure you can get the story. It’s worth the trip: 1401 light street [federal hill] baltimore, md 21230.
The setting for Innovate Love was a venue that is an awe-inspiring work of art itself. What was once the fastest grain elevator in the world has been repurposed into a living space completely unique to our city. Instead of completely razing the massive complex and starting from scratch, the developers chose to use much of the original structure to revitalize a once decaying remnant from the industrial fallout of the twentieth century. The story of Silo Point is a perfect illustration of what’s happening inside the Baltimore Renaissance.
Michael Owen is the artist behind the Baltimore Love Project. Michael graduated from MICA with a BFA in 2004. Since then, he’s shown his work extensively across the country inside galleries and other notable air conditioned spaces; his work also adorns the grittier exterior provided by cities walls, bridges and other brick and mortar canvases.
Here’s Michael with his piece on the lower left titled ‘Technology Creation.’
Nick Borkowicz and Jamie Noguchi represent ‘Super Art Fight,’ a band of wandering artists with superpowers and anger management issues. The combination of these traits has proved menacing to artists without superpowers who prefer not to fight. After a long history of extreme creative mayhem, these ‘Super Art Fighters’ surprised the world when they decided to turn over a new leaf. In lieu of destroying mere mortal artists, the members of Super Art Fight have opted for group therapy and live painting performances to help mitigate the urge to engage in conflict.
In all seriousness, the members of Super Art Fight seem rather well adjusted and not at all angry as you can plainly see by the example of Super Art Fight co-host Ross Nover. And in case there was any question, we counted at least three of the crew who appeared to have noteworthy superpowers. Contrary to the adjective, we cannot actually note the specific superpowers at this time.
Super Art Fight is actually more of a ‘Pictionary’ meets ‘Professional Wrestling’ kind of phenomenon except the bouts aren’t fixed. Think ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ if Max was played by Bob Ross and Deborah Harry played the part of Tina Tuner with Blondie doing the soundtrack. It’s the product of the ongoing effort of mankind to raise the stakes of entertainment by combining all of your favorite spectacles into a hybrid performance in a sincere effort to blow your mind once and for all.
Audrey Noguchi with Marty Day, the other co-host of Super Art Fight. Marty is the winner of this week’s prestigious and highly coveted “You Made a Ridiculous Face For This Picture and When We Showed It To You and Asked Permission To Publish It You Said “Sure why not?” Which Only Proves That You’re Capable of Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously and That My Friend Bodes To Your Awesomeness More Than Any Fake Award Ever Could’ award.
Matthew Saindon with his photograph aptly titled ‘Love.’ What’s particularly interesting about this work is that Matthew uses found objects as lenses for his camera. This particular piece was taken using a Nikon D70 and a binocular barrel fashioned as a lens. This approach leaves the automated features of a digital SLR useless and as a result Matthew is forced to resort to more creative ways to capture his images and bring them into focus. If you can believe it, the image shown here is of a watercolor painting.
And just to prove that there is actually a market for art in Baltimore, we found these two patrons, Stephanie Bryl and Howard Carolan, who were happily bidding away on selections among the extensive assemblage of pieces from which to choose. It just so happens that it was the anniversary of Stephanie’s birth on this night so if you know her and forgot to wish her happy birthday, now is your chance to pretend that you remembered. Drop her a line.
Charlie Rubenstein with executive director of the Baltimore Love Project Scott Burkholder. We met Charlie for the first time earlier that morning at the museum yard sale at the Baltimore Museum of Industry where he was proud to have hauled in several over-sized baseball cards (we showed up late and still managed to find a few great deals among the remnants).
If you see any pictures of the Love Project murals being painted you might recognize Scott up on a ladder helping Michael Owen. You don’t often equate the title ‘executive director’ with manual labor but, in this case, Steven is prepared to do what it takes to spread the love.
The Penthouse at Silo Point.
The view from the tip top of Silo Point. Wide angle state of mind.
This building is reminiscent of works by the architect Louis Kahn in the way that much of the original building materials are left bare, leaving the cracks and boreholes to tell the story of its history. It’s also reminiscent of Kahn’s work for its shear enormity.
The monumental scope of the lobby has the hallowed feel of a cathedral set in a science fiction movie from the seventies. In this space one can get a glimpse of the past and the future simultaneously.
Dominic Cerquetti imagines what it might be like take his bath three hundred and forty feet above the city. Beer tastes better up here.