On Friday, August 26th, an extra warm evening at the end of the summer, seventeen venues featuring 30+ artists and makers welcomed the public for the Station North Art Walk with a special spotlight on the Greenmount West neighborhood.
Attendees were invited to pick up a printed map at the Open Works Parking Lot and browse the Art Walk Maker’s Mart hosted and curated by Open Works. Browsing the festive Maker’s Mart was like artistic puddle jumping with DJ Trillnatured setting the vibe. Each pink or green custom hut (which were commissioned by SNAD and fabricated by Open Works) housed a Baltimore-based creative showcasing prints, embroidery, custom clothing, paintings, jewelry, tinctures, and more. Many of these makers live or work in Greenmount West.
With Cajou Creamery’s baklava ice cream in hand, it was an easy walk across the street to Gallery CA at City Arts for the closing of a fantastic exhibition, A Cackle of Cornes: The Art of 7 Bad Ass, Magical Old Broad, curated by Deb Jansen. People strolled down Oliver Street, maps in hand, in numbers I hadn’t seen since AllOverStreet, an extremely popular monthly art walk series coordinated by Kimi Hanauer, eventually adopted as a program of SNAD that went on hiatus in 2017.
New visitors and members alike stopped for tours and outdoor refreshments and at the Station North Tool Library, where anyone can borrow a tool or sign up for classes. Next door, the Area 405 Gallery was open and soliciting input on new programming ideas for the first time since the building was purchased by a joint partnership between Central Baltimore Partnership and Ernst Valery. (Station North Arts District is a program of the Central Baltimore Partnership).
The Cork Factory offered a rare glimpse into the light drenched studios where resident artists live and work in a historic building where the first “crown cork” bottle caps were manufactured. Open Studios featured works by artists Carol Higgs, Nancy Linden, Tommy Mitchell, and Lydie Vantine.
Station North Arts District is made up of three neighborhoods: Historic Barclay, Charles North, Greenmount West. The Arts District was integrated as a program of the Central Baltimore Partnership in 2020. By design, when the Arts District was officially designated by the state of Maryland twenty years ago, Greenmount West and Barclay were to serve as artist live and work space and Charles North was designated the entertainment and commercial hub. During our summer 2022 art walk series, we’ve focused on different neighborhoods in turn. This geographic focus makes it easier for attendees to visit more venues, and we’re able to highlight our neighborhoods and their unique assets in turn.
As an artist myself working, collaborating, and performing in Baltimore, largely in the Station North Arts District, I am mindful that the spaces I know and love are still unfamiliar or undiscovered for many. Last year, we held our first in person Art Walk series since the onset of the pandemic. It is my goal as District Manager to continue to draw a broader audience to these events. Art Walks are way for us to open our doors and invite the public to experience the hidden gems of the Arts District: our makers and creative entrepreneurs, the light drenched artist live/work studios inside the Cork Factory, the natural dye studio and alternative color lab Blue Light Junction, which is located in a magical old carriage house.
Art Walks represent a true collaboration, and most of the programming is presented by our participating partners. I hope that people make connections and come back to engage with the rich artistic and cultural programming that makes our District vibrant. The next and final Station North Art Walk of 2022 is coming up Friday, September 30th. The Station North Arts District is a program of the Central Baltimore Partnership.
Open Works, 1400 Greenmount Avenue: Facility Tour and Art Walk Maker Market—featuring The NASAB, Priyanka Kumar, Sam Kerr, Laura Benson Art, Dubonnet Porter, Mowgli, Candice Tavares, Sarah Etherton, Mopé Adesola, Tamara Kumoji – Tamshandcrafts, and food vendors Cajou Creamery and Ta Ta Tacos, with music by DJ Trillnatured.