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The Best Thing About Artscape

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Dwayne Butcher on the Artist-Run Art Fair at Artscape 2015

Organized by artist collective Open Space, the Artist-Run Art Fair is by far the best thing about Artscape. It was last year as well, when it was known then as the Alternative Art Fair.

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There were a couple of okay things/artists/projects/crafts to look at with all the other vendors, art cars, and food trucks. The performances and installations that were a part of Lazy River, curated by Maggie Villegas and Melissa Webb, were quite interesting and engaging. Laure Drogol’s seesaw installation on the Charles Street bridge was cool and the kiddos seemed to love it; it played well into the water theme for this years Artscape. Chris Cumbie’s The Nightmare Before Christmas rip-off’s were fun and priced to sell. And, Leah Boelman’s threaded quips on reclaimed wood were cute, but we have all seen these at Trovh before this weekend. It was definitely the Artist-Run Art Fair that made me trek to Artscape twice this weekend.

At first, the Artist-Run Art Fair seems out of place. As if, with this kind of experimental work and these artist run, non-profit/guerilla spaces, most of the patrons to Artscape would not know how to react to it. I would be curious to know how many of the 350,000 attendees seek out these art spaces after Artscape? Even if the number is zero, I think it is important for people to see this work, to know that it exists in their city, even if it is only for these three days.

Lucas Haroldsen
Lucas Haroldsen
The Monument Quilt_01
The Monument Quilt
The Monument Quilt_02
The Monument Quilt
akimbo_01
Akimbo Performance Space
akimbo_04
Akimbo
akimbo_03
Akimbo
akimbo_02
Akimbo

Seeing a performance by Akimbo in their make-shift performance space would have to be a highlight for just about anyone. I imagine the conversations that people have when coming across a cigarette lighter attached to the floor with silicone. I would love to know what goes through a viewers mind when they see how bb has installed their work. I think most people enjoyed participating in Stephen Crouch’s selfie installation. The discourse that was generated by seeing the work of The Monument Quilt is just about priceless and definitely needed.

bb
bb
Stephen_Crouch_01
Stephen Crouch with Furthermore
Stephen_Crouch_04
Stephen Crouch with Furthermore
Stephen_Crouch_03
Stephen Crouch with Furthermore
Stephen_Crouch_02
Stephen Crouch with Furthermore

There were several highlights within this highlight of Artscape. The previously mentioned lighter sculpture by Lucas Haroldsen, showing with Open Space. Also, Esther Ruiz showing at Platform. I am super excited about her upcoming August exhibition there.

Esther Ruiz
Esther Ruiz with Platform Gallery
Niels Post
Niels Post with Transmitter

I loved Niels Post’s work with Transmitter and Guest Spot @ the Reinstitute, because I am obsessed with all text work nowadays. Also, Sophie Friedman-Papas with Lil’ Gallery.

Sophie Friedman-Papas
Sophie Friedman-Papas with Lil’ Gallery

On a side note, Lil’ Gallery had their last opening this weekend and their booth was titled, Everything Must Go. If they really are indeed done, it’s sad to see them go, but I am glad they got to put together so many great exhibitions.

Justin Lucas
Justin Lucas with Current

Current Space’s Justin Lucas’ Big Boyz Bail Bonds pens print was the most Baltimore thing ever. So good.

Other works that stood out at the 2015 Artist-Run Art Fair During Artscape are as follows.

Transmitter & Guest Spot
Transmitter & Guest Spot Table
Sarah Favreau
Sarah Favreau with Terrault Contemporary
Michael Bussell
Michael Bussell with Lil’ Gallery
Open Space Exhibit
Open Space Exhibit Booth
Lucas Haroldsen
Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space
Lucas Haroldsen
Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space
Lucas Haroldsen
Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space
Lucas Haroldsen
Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space
Lauren Portada
Lauren Portada with Transmitter
Kelley McNutt
Kelley McNutt with Open Space
Kaita Niwa
Kaita Niwa with Platform Gallery
Kaita Niwa
Kaita Niwa with Platform Gallery
Justin LUcas
Justin Lucas with Current
Justin Lucas
Justin Lucas with Current
Julia Scroggin
Julia Scroggin with Lil’ Gallery
Jerry Walters
Jerry Walters with Sediment
Jerry Walters
Jerry Walters with Sediment
Get You Life
Get Your Life Productions
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Angela Arrigo from Platform Gallery
get you life_02
Get Your Life Productions
Press Press
Get Your Life Productions
Always Already Here Vol 1
Always Already Here Vol 1 with Ortega y Gasset Projects
Christopher McCarthy
Christopher McCarthy with Terrault Contemporary
Christopher McCarthy
Christopher McCarthy with Terrault Contemporary
Christopher Kardambikis
Christopher Kardambikis with Sediment
Christopher Kardambikis
Christopher Kardambikis with Sediment
Chris Owen
Chris Owen with Lil’ Gallery
Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith with Sediment
Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith with Sediment
Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith with Sediment
bb
bb group exhibition featuring the work of Grace Davis, Christina Haines, Michael Jones McKean and John Zane Zappas
bb
bb group exhibition featuring the work of Grace Davis, Christina Haines, Michael Jones McKean and John Zane Zappas
Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery
Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery
Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery
Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery
Andrew Thorp
Andrew Thorp with Lil’ Gallery
Alex Day
Alex Day with Lil’ Gallery
Alex Ebstein
Alex Ebstein with Transmitter
Alan Resnick
Alan Resnick with Open Space
Always Already Here Vol 1
Always Already Here Vol 1 with Ortega y Gasset Projects
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Open Space’s second annual Artist Run Art Fair (formerly the Alternative Art Fair) happened July 17-19, 2015 and featured 18 artist-run and nonprofit organizations from Baltimore and beyond, including Press Press, Get Your Life! Productions, Open Space, Sediment, bb, Akimbo, Platform, Little Berlin, Furthermore, Lil’ Gallery, Transmitter, Guest Spot, FORCE, Invisible Majority, Ortega y Gasset, Terrault Contemporary, Make Studio, and Current.

Author Dwayne Butcher is an artist, writer, curator and chicken wing connoisseur living in Baltimore, MD. Butcher takes the bus to work everyday where he runs a design, print and animation studio at UMBC. He has had the same haircut for ten years and his wife thought Brad Pitt looked like a woman until he got old, now she thinks he looks better. Fortunately for Butcher, his wife does not like pretty boys. To see his work and curatorial projects, visit dwaynebutcher.com, better yet, get in touch, he would love to have you over to the studio.

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