In the Station North Arts District, there is an L-shaped alleyway known as Graffiti Alley. Graff writers and street artists regularly cover these brick walls with a fresh coat of paint, because it is the only place Baltimore City legally permits graffiti.
This creative hub came about, sometime around 2012, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Load of Fun Gallery which backed up to the alleyway. The unique opportunity to write and paint without fear of arrest for vandalism attracted well-known local artists such as Arek, Billy Mode, Random, Siek, Sorta, Toven, Stefan Ways, and others.
Word spread, and over the next couple of years renowned artists came from far and wide to paint here: Insano (Panama), Stikman (NYC), Ticoe (Miami) and Zeso (a Frenchman working in NYC) to name a few. At one point, the NSF Crew held their annual BBQ here.
After the Load of Fun and the Single Carrot Theater moved out in 2014, Graffiti Alley began to lose its street cred among well-known writers and artists. In short, it devolved into little more than a place to scrawl obscenities and sketch phalluses. Fortunately, its creative spirit won out over this mediocrity, and gradually the Alley has morphed into a place for beginning writers and artists to develop their talent and practice their spray can skills.
Over the past couple of years, one writer in particular has helped to rekindle and fuel the creative spirit of Graffiti Alley. Consistently, the burners and pieces by Noah have been interesting, imaginative, and full of character. He dedicates his artwork to his young son, so oftentimes it is literally full of characters: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob, salty sailors, and more. Moreover, he respects the artwork of others and helps beginning writers enhance their skills.
Earlier this year, BARCO completed a major renovation of the former Load of Fun building and opened the Motor House, a community arts development center. Even though (or maybe because of) the Motor House has buffed over a number of good pieces since its opening, more accomplished artwork has started to appear in Graffiti Alley. Here is a gallery of well-known local artists and writers who have returned to Graffiti Alley: Caspa, Daver, Meca (including a back to back collab with Grope), Mode, Wake, etc.
Charm City Streets welcomes this reemergence and resurgence of talent and sincerely hopes it continues to blossom and grow.
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