Local artists and experts choose 37 artworks in Baltimore that you have to see, and their selections just might stir up debate about our perceptions of art and the city around us.
When we asked a group of art aficionados to identify must-see works of art, we expected to hear about pieces in The BMA, The Walters, and other museums and galleries around town. We got that, and a lot more. Our respondents cited deserving masterpieces from Baltimore's bastions of high art, and they also made less obvious choices. You might expect the Cone Collection would get mentioned—which it did—but a stretch of Loch Raven Boulevard, or a SoWeBo barbershop? They made the cut, too, and such inclusions suggest that the definition of art is increasingly elastic. And why shouldn't it be?
New artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah not only wants to transform Centerstage—he wants to redefine Baltimore.
Kwame Kwei-Armah knows Baltimore. In fact, he knows it much better than you'd expect a transplanted Brit would. In fact, Kwei-Armah, who's just starting his new gig as Centerstage artistic director, has already forged a deep connection to the city, and that connection is driving his plans for reshaping the theater.
Baltimore's most notorious graffiti artist tries to go straight, juggling family, school, sobriety, and an art world that just might embrace him.
Frank Arthur doesn't just tell stories—he acts them out. Between bites of a Reuben at an Arbutus diner, Arthur recalls creeping past the Pepsi building on a summer night in 1986 with Scrappy G, One Way, and a few other graffiti writers in tow. An assortment of construction equipment and trucks concealed them from cars whizzing past on I-83. The expressway was being widened, and Arthur and his crew had determined that an enormous pile of metal support beams would be their next urban canvas.
"We wrote our butts off," recalls Arthur.
The venerable festival enters its fourth decade brimming with populism and newfound energy, thanks to its expansion into Station North.
It's too hot, too crowded, the parking is awful, but still we go every year. Because each time we're tempted to skip Artscape, we remember something special that happened at the last one, and we find ourselves heading down to Mount Royal Avenue once again.
A local beatboxer takes his skills to new heights, and new audiences, by performing with everyone from the BSO to Ethel Ennis.
Towson University's Fine Arts Building is relatively quiet on a Tuesday afternoon. That is, until you open the door leading to the dance studios on the first floor. Immediately, booming music fills the hallway, ricochets off the cinderblock walls, and gets louder as you approach room 1004, where a few dozen dancers in leotards and shorts pirouette, bend, and leap in time to the rhythm.
Local artist launches a crusade to ease Arab-American tensions with just one word.
While working on a novel in 2007 about survivors of the Iraq War, Baltimore resident Justin Sirois posted a request on an international website for Iraqis to answer his questions about the country's culture.
Questions ranged from "Where do you shop?" to "What kind of pets do you have?" Or, for those who had fled the country, he asked, "Why did you leave?"
Henry Wong converted an empty room above his downtown CD shop into a cultural hub dedicated to jazz and classical music.
Henry Wong came to the United States from Hong Kong to finish school and study medicine, but things didn't go as planned. The lure of Western culture proved too great and pulled him away from his studies. As a result, Hopkins has one less doctor, but Baltimore gained a tireless, though unlikely, cultural advocate, who has quietly transformed the tiny space over his Mt. Vernon CD shop into one of the city's busiest concert venues.
At age 50, Eliza Bussey suddenly decided to learn music.
Eliza Bussey has always been around music. She attempted to play the guitar as a little girl and worked at the Metropolitan Opera House as a young woman. But, until recently, she could never read a note.
"I've always watched from the wings, quite literally," Bussey says. "But I felt like I didn't have anything of my own that was something I could do for the rest of my life."
Indie director's latest ode to Baltimore opens this month.
When Baltimore's own Matt Porterfield becomes a big star—and we have no doubt it's going to happen—you want to say that you were with him from the start. So, first check out his wistful and unforgettable debut, Hamilton. (If you haven't seen it already, what are you waiting for?) And next, go see his latest, Putty Hill, which begins its Baltimore run on March 4 at The Charles Theater. After the critical success of Hamilton, Porterfield set his sights on the more ambitious Metal Gods.
Sculptor John Henry talks about his upcoming Westport project.
John Henry, an artist based in Chattanooga, TN, hopes to erect a sculpture along the waterfront in Westport. The spiky, 236-foot-tall piece would sit on a plaza in Patrick Turner’s $1.5 billion development project. “We want the sculpture to be the center of the project,” Turner recently told the Public Art Commission. “It does for Baltimore what the Arch does in St. Louis. It would become a symbol of the region.” We sat down recently with Henry at Turner’s Locust Point offices.