We Heart Restaurant Art: Golden West

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Name of Restaurant: Golden West Cafe
Name of Interviewee: Kim Dorn, Golden West Marketing Manager
Address: 1105 W. 36th St. Baltimore, MD 21211
Type of Food Served / Specialty: Southwest Cuisine and Americana Comfort Foods (Right now they have the special Natty Boh for a penny with any burger purchase during lunch in the Long Bar, 11am-3pm.)

Next Exhibit: Laura Butler Hughes “View From Rag Mountain” will be up in the Long Bar, June 10 – June 25, 2014 with a Closing Reception on June 25th, from 7-9pm.

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Lauren Van Slyke for BmoreArt: Why do you show local art?

Kim Dorn: We love being able to showcase the amazing creativity and talents of the Baltimore arts community, and enjoy having new art on our walls every month for our customers to check out and discuss while they eat and drink.

LVS: Describe your aesthetic – What type of art work do you show?

KD: Golden West boasts a unique style that compliments our southwest-inspired menu. Our restaurant is an eclectic mix of vintage americana, vibrant murals and diner relics. We want our patrons to be engaged with every aspect of our restaurant, from the food to the decor, including our rotating art shows. We’re looking for artists that push visual narratives and have fresh takes on old mediums.We want eclectic art that reflects our unique restaurant, creative staff and diverse patrons.

LVS: What was one of your favorite (or most crowd pleasing) exhibit in the space?

KD: Kevin Herdeman had a show here last October with glass paintings and monster sculptures — a perfect fit for the month of Halloween. Kevin experiments with a variety of mediums, and has developed his own method for producing his fantastical toys. His last show here pretty much sold out before it was over, and we’ve invited him back for another exhibit this October.

LVS: How do the arts, and locally owned restaurants, enhance life and culture in Baltimore?

KD: Baltimore has been very fortunate to see a large influx of creative people moving here because of its relaxed atmosphere, relatively inexpensive living experiences, and an ever growing number of artistic outlets and resources. This influx of creative types has allowed many neighborhoods like Hampden, Mt. Vernon and Bolton Hill to grow organically, rather than be areas that are only filled with box stores and cookie cutter restaurants.

Baltimore is home to a lot of mom and pop shops that reflect the individuality of each owner, which in turn reflects the unique charm that is Baltimore. Where the arts and the entrepreneurial spirit meet, amazing, beautiful things happen. People want to be inspired in their lives, and the arts, in all its forms, gives individuals and communities the ability to dream big.

LVS: How can artists get a show in your space?

KD: Interested artists should contact me at The email should include a link to their site or photos of their work, as well as a brief bio. Due to the amount of applications we receive every month, we will only get back to those whose shows has been accepted.

* Interviewer Lauren Van Slyke is the Marketing Director at BmoreArt.



More Information about Golden West’s next exhibit: 

Laura Butler Hughes’ show, “View From Rag Mountain,” incorporates her passion for drawing with the complexities and discoveries that come from studying a subject over a long period of time.

The exhibit will be up in the Long Bar, June 10 – June 25, 2014 with a Closing Reception on June 25th, from 7-9pm.

According to the artist: It began as an exercise, drawing fabric folds like the old masters – using a rag covered in dirt and dirt-colored paint. I find the longer I sit with it the more clear the atmospheric particulars of the desert become. The sun setting out the studio window is the sky changing the color of the rim of a mesa. In its ridges I remember more about the dry heat, the dust haze, the warmth of red rock under my legs than I can from photos. Look a little longer at the base there is a mom cow flexing on your city dog, an elk near the top shredded by a mountain lion, smoke from hunters’ campfires around the next curve. Every time I sit down or change my angle it is new, I never get tired. Eight months after beginning the project it has proven to be an extremely generative and involving practice, the seed for writing and new directions.

Laura Hughes has been a cook at the Golden West since 2010. Originally from Buffalo, NY she moved to Baltimore in 2005 – with a one year break to live in a two room cabin on the West fork of the Dolores River in Southwestern Colorado. Because of coincidence or luck the Golden West has been an important part of a new change in trajectory. Beginning with an over heard conversation about the magic of the desert at the Maryland Film Fest, to coming back with a new understanding about the significance of food in the Southwest.

All works are archival prints on watercolor paper mounted in custom hand built frames. Profits from this show will help support a project bringing the artist back to the desert/mountain divide on the Colorado-Utah border this coming Fall.  Please contact the artist directly for information about sales at

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