Fast forward to August 25 of this year, just a few weeks ago, Night Owl Gallery reopened its (magnetic blue) doors to the heart of Station North, perched right above The Royal Blue at 1735 Maryland Avenue. A few feet from the ajar front door, as Beth-Ann and I sit and discuss the move and her ambitions for the gallery, our eyes are both drawn to the happening street corner below us, where Maryland Ave and W Lafayette Ave converge—just a few blocks away from Penn Station.
The two former residential apartments which Night Owl Gallery now inhabits as a multipurpose, multistoried locale encapsulates, to my mind, one of the most charming characteristics of Baltimore architecture. That is to say, there is a de facto willingness to experiment and repurpose urban infrastructure in this city when inspiration and ingenuity are paired with committed funding. The results of such development projects, big and small, are always singular and surprising in their own ways.
Beth-Ann and I are brought to laughter after she gives me a tour and reminisces on the Barbie-esque pink the storage room was originally painted in. “I think that shade would have been a little too much, a little too jarring for our vibe,” she tells me before detailing the other quirks the property came in tow with. After rounding about a half a dozen corners, well beyond the main exhibition room, it was thrilling—like how I imagine Alice must’ve felt in pursuit of the White Rabbit—to climb the stairs to the top of the building and check out Night Owl Gallery’s artist studios. This is where renters in the coming days and weeks will set up their respective stations to work with and experiment in all kinds of media.