10 Best Things at Artscape 2018

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Ten Not-To-Be-Missed Projects, Exhibits, and Performances at Artscape 2018 by Cara Ober

Artscape is hot. Artscape is big. Artscape is a lot. If you make the commitment to attend America’s largest free arts festival, you want to make sure the sunburn and dehydration is completely worth it and your Instagram feed is on point. How to make sure you don’t miss that amazing interactive installation hidden behind that weird knife throwing performer? Also: how to find clean bathrooms, free water, and air conditioning when necessary? And those rows of Porta’potties? Just. No.

Let us help you. We reached out to our friends and colleagues hard at work to make Artscape 2018 the very best it can be for their recommendations and edited it down to 10 essential but easy-to-miss Artscape happenings. So now you can prioritize your Artscape meandering and not miss the good stuff.

According to BOPA’s Artscape team, this year’s Artscape will not have any guiding theme in its exhibits and performances like past years. “In 2018, Artscape is going back to the basics… ART! For ‘the year of no theme,’ Artscape encourages artists and festivalgoers to embrace Artscape for what it is: a fully accessible, free world-class arts festival in the heart of Baltimore City,” BOPA said in its release.

1.  TLC and Toots & The Maytals are Musical Headliners this year!
Location: MICA Main Stage at 1400 Cathedral Street, near Mount Royal Avenue

TLC Friday, July 20: 7:30 pm
Toots & the Maytals Saturday, July 21: 7:30 pm

If you’re going to attend a free outdoor concert – these two should be amazing! If you’re going to choose just one? I don’t know what to tell you. Also a shout out to Baltimore based musician and songwriter ellen cherry, playing the same MICA stage on Sunday at 2:30.

2. Artscape Exhibition of Sondheim Semi-Finalists at MICA
Location: 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue
Friday, July 20, 2018 – Sunday, August 5, 2018
Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 19, 2018 from 6pm to 9pm

Air conditioning, clean bathrooms, and some of the best art around by approximately 50 semi-finalists for Baltimore’s top art prize. Lots of people think this show is better each year than the exhibition of finalists hosted at the Baltimore Museum of Art. To visit the show of finalists, you’ll have to hop in a car and head to the BMA. You can read our review of Sondheim Finalists here.

3. Artist-Run Art Fair
Friday, July 20th – Sunday, July 22nd

Location: Charles Street Parking Garage
1714 North Charles Street : 21218

Returning for its fifth year, the Artist-Run Art Fair will once again transform the parking garage at 1714 North Charles Street into a showcase of contemporary artwork being presented by artist-run galleries and small curatorial projects from across the country. Since its inception in 2014, the Artist-Run Art Fair has brought spaces from Richmond, VA; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Minneapolis, MN; Little Rock, AR; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA, New Orleans, LA and Baltimore together to exhibit the work of emerging contemporary artists. The fair also strengthens Baltimore’s place in this broader network by bringing cultural workers to Baltimore to see the amazing spaces and work going on in the city right now, and providing Artscape visitors an opportunity to see a wide range of contemporary art by emerging contemporary artists

The Artist-Run Art Fair is curated and organized by Open Space, an artist-run gallery located at 512 West Franklin Street in Baltimore, MD. Open Space’s mission is to promote a vibrant, visible and connected contemporary arts community in Baltimore through producing a consistent curated program of exhibitions, annual festivals and maintaining a wide variety of supplemental events such as lectures, film screenings and music shows. Open Space is made possible by the love and hard work of its members and by the supportive and fruitful cultural community that exists in Baltimore.

4. Choose Your Own Adventure
Location: Charles Street Bridge at Penn Station, Baltimore, MD, 21201July 20-22, 2018
Friday: 11am-11pm, Saturday: 11am-11pm, Sunday: 11am-7pm

Building off of the outrageous success of last year’s Dancing Forest, Graham Coreil-Allen is teaming up with with fellow Baltimore public artist Becky Borlan on Choose Your Own Adventure! This installation will transform the Charles Street Bridge at Penn Station into a colorful playscape of pedestrian pathways and hanging beach balls. The project takes inspiration from the natural paths taken by street-crossing pedestrians, the Jones Falls and train tracks below, and the joyful experiences of summer-inspired toys. The kinetic environment will feature hundreds of colorful, translucent beach balls and multiple lounging options for festival goers to find respite from the summer sun. Click here to learn more and join us at Artscape!

5. Drain Snake Races (Artist: Station North Tool Library)
Location: 1700 Charles Street, west side of the street

The Station North Tool Library (SNTL) is a community resource and education center located in nearby Greenmount West.  SNTL provides allows people to borrow basic tools to save them money. They also assist people with overcoming the initial hurdles of access and know-how to use those tools.  They like to make this education fun, not just because it should be, but also because that kind of positive energy builds communal spaces.

Thus- Drain Snake Races! The object of this game is to use a drain snake to race your opponent to the end of the labyrinth of pipes. Both players start at a prop toilet and maneuver the snake past each bend of the piping locking and spinning the tool you would need to unlock an actual drain. The first person to get the end triggers a beacon light and sprays their opponent with water.

6. Arts Every Day: Youth Artist Market, Graffiti Alley Dance and Mural Workshops
Location: The Motor House, 120 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201
Youth Artist Market 11:00AM- 5:00PM

Arts Every Day is partnering with several Baltimore groups to bring 10-15 youth artists to display and sell their artwork at the Motor House, an arts and cultural hub in Station North.

Friday July 20 at 11- 1: Arts Every Day: Graffiti Mural Workshop with McKinley Wallace

In Graffiti Alley, the only legal place to tag graffiti and paint on public property freely, Arts Every Day is coordinating two graffiti mural workshops and a dance workshop that will activate this space during Artscape’s Youth Day. The mural workshops will be led by teaching artists to demonstrate how Artscape patrons can paint and/or tag their own symbols in Graffiti Alley.

Arts Every Day is dedicated to strengthening learning by making arts education and cultural experiences an integral part of classroom instruction for all students in Baltimore City Public Schools. Arts Every Day’s entire mission and work is dedicated to improving access to the arts for youth in Baltimore City.

7. Film At Artscape: Free Movies
Location: Parkway Theatre, 5 West North Avenue (Corner of North Avenue and Charles)

Take a break from the heat and crowds, grab a local craft beer and some popcorn, and visit one of Baltimore’s most beautiful buildings – the Parkway Theater. They’re hosting an entire weekend of free movies on the SNF Parkway’s big screen.

Free programming includes the ’90s cult comedy Friday, a variety of genre-spanning MdFF 2018 short film programs, and a showcase of student films and videos by Baltimore-area youth producers. It also includes a feature-length film, a variety of genre-spanning MdFF 2018 short film programs (Animation, Character Study, Comedy, Documentary, and Narrative), and a showcase of student films and videos by Baltimore-area youth producers.Baltimore Youth Media Showcase at The Parkway

In partnership with Artscape Youth Day on Friday, July 20th at 3pm, MdFF will present the best film and video works by Baltimore area elementary, middle, and high school students!

The Baltimore Youth Media Showcase is a celebration of student-produced film and video works from youth producers in and around the greater Baltimore area, representing academic and extra-curricular programs from:

Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore School for the Arts
Baltimore Youth Film Arts
The Griot’s Eye Program
Media Rhythm Institute
New Lens Productions
Root Branch Film Academy
Park School of Baltimore
Wide Angle Youth Media

The showcase will take place in the SNF Parkway’s main historic auditorium and will be FREE and open to the public! Bring your friends, family, and schoolmates to enjoy short films, PSAs, music videos, documentaries, animations and more, all created by Baltimore-area students!

Animated Shorts
Comedy Shorts
Character Study Shorts
Documentary Shorts
Narrative Shorts

Four of our BSA Student films will be screened as part of Friday’s Youth Day at the Parkway!

8. Department of Beauty Maintenance: Trash-Scape
Location: Charles Street Bridge North of Penn Station

Artist: Thick Air Studios- from Detroit, Thick Air did DEAR BALTIMORE at the first Light City

The Department of Beauty Maintenance (DBM) is a performative sidewalk cleaning service that promotes sustainable behavior and civic engagement. Part street performance and part service company, DBM WALKS the streets as a well-equipped troupe of sharply dressed superheroes engaging with the public with a goal of changing perception around littering and picking up trash.  Throughout the festival the DBM employees will work with festival-goers to construct Trash-scape a street performance evolving over the course of the Artscape weekend.  By shaping and erasing a changing sculpture of recyclable material. As materials accumulate, the sculpture will shift and grow within a large contained area of Charles Street Bridge.

9. The University of Baltimore Presents Gamescape at Artscape
Location: H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, 1415 Maryland Ave

Gamescape is open from 11 to 9 Friday and Saturday and then 11 to 8 on Sunday.

Do you love video games? Or – does your child?? Do you like air conditioning and/or do you want to inspire your child to grow up and make lots of money designing video games?

The University of Baltimore Presents Gamescape at Artscape is a high-quality program showcasing video games and the creative people who make them. Visitors can browse and interact with selected video games from local and national video game developers, as well as a few classic consoles. Organized by Pure Bang Games and MAGFest, Gamescape is sure to delight with over a dozen games in our air conditioned space!

Official text: Love the games showcased at Gamescape? Become a pro at creating them. More than 100 companies in the Baltimore-Washington area are involved in interactive development. In the University of Baltimore’s B.S. in Simulation and Game Design program, you’ll gain the hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge necessary to take your career in the multi-billion dollar gaming industry to the next level.

10. Screen Station (Artist: Baltimore Youth Arts)
Location: 1700 Charles Street, west side of the street

Printmaking has been a medium for advocacy, protest and resistance to people fighting against oppression throughout history.

Baltimore Youth Arts wants to share the skill of screen printing with the festival-goers of Artscape as an accessible art making process while also spreading the message from BYA youth to the larger community. The Screen Station will  provide a free public screen printing station where visitors to Artscape will learn to use silkscreens and inks to print messages related to youth advocacy, justice, and the justice system. Paper and fabric will be provided and festival attendees are encouraged to bring their blank materials to print on.

Honorable Mentions (We couldn’t resist)::

Elemental Progression (Artist: String Theory Theater/Dirk Joseph)

Location: Mobile and roaming a long Charles Street.

Four large, festival scale puppets will start in separate corners of the Charles Street corridor and slowly make their way to each other and interact at meeting spaces along the street.  As the puppets wave their way through the crowd to meet up with each other  they will engage in a communal exchange of coordinated movement and dance here smaller puppets will emerge to encircle and respond to the various elements.  Puppets will pass through and interact with the crowd and scheduled times throughout the weekend.

Leavings  (Artist: Nariko Marvit-Suyemoto)

Location: Charles Street Near Penn Station

Leavings is comprised of large scale sculptures of often found left behind or single use objects. . That festival goers can spend time with, stand next to, selfie against, sit upon, and consider themselves in scale with. The sculptures are made of cardboard and papier-mache, painted and coated with poly acrylic

KIDS CAPE! Hands-on activities for children and their families!
Location: Pearlstone Park, adjacent to Cathedral and Preston streets

 Friday-Saturday: 11am-8pm
Sunday: 11am-7pm

Featuring Interactive Dance with Dance & Bemore’s FazaFam, Believe in Music, and more!

Kidscape will also feature The Y.A.T.T.A.S. (Young Artists Training to Achieve Success) Performing Arts Program, directed by Kenyatta Hardison, the Cardinal Shehan Performing Arts Director. Youth will teach Inspirational Show Tunes with choreography and singing featuring excerpts from hits like “This Is Me” from the Greatest Show and “Dancing in the Streets” from Motown. Youth attendees will have the opportunity to perform to a track or acappella. Visit them in the Y.A.T.T.A.S. Performing Arts Music Room tent in Pearlstone Park from 11:00am-5:00pm.

Media Rhythm Institute joins us for two workshops:

Channel Me Media workshop enhances reading literacy and math skills while encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and empowering youth to expand their knowledge of the media industry through research and documentary projects. Our goal for Artscape youth is to inspire young people to explore careers in multimedia and improve their quality of life by offering exposure to positive opportunities to learn about how to take photos, podcasting, learn interviewing techniques and explore the many career paths that exist within the multimedia industry. These classes will be facilitated by our youth in Channel Me Media.

Bmore than Dance workshop is an interactive session with high intensity and fast paced music. Dance instructors break down the basic maneuvers of Baltimore Club; Cherry Hill, Spongebob, power step, crazy leg, heel toe & kick outs. You will also learn how to incorporate all these moves in single routine.

Join us at the Kidscape Performance Space! In the heart of Pearlstone Park, the performance space is an interactive platform with demonstrations and performances, featuring education and entertainment, with programming from a wide range of organizations.

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