June was a busy month. Like wildflowers in a meadow, colorful new artwork popped up and blanketed the city.
Acclaimed writers Ichabod, Arek, Mast, and Jurne created an outstanding back to back piece in the Station North Arts District. It is fitting that artist Bob Ross from the celebrated PBS show The Joy of Painting commands a central role in the piece.
Episode 2 takes you off-road once again and ventures beneath the streets in search of out-of-sight graffiti. Charm City Streets trusts you will enjoy the phat artwork, but keep an eye out for Morloks in these shadowy tunnels and secluded underpasses.
Over the past five years Charm City Streets has taken you on regular photo tours of art in public spaces. We have visited Baltimore’s neighborhoods; the DC Metropolitan area; Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan; Miami; parts of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest; and, even Germany. Together we have walked hundreds of miles up and down city streets and alleyways; watched artists live painting during art festivals, mural projects, and paint jams; and, explored abandoned buildings such as a Cold War spy station in Berlin, Germany. Along the way we have encountered incredible graffiti writers and street artists.
Abandoned and derelict buildings possess character, project a unique atmosphere, and assure graffiti writers and urban explorers alike an irresistible sense of adventure.
Over the past few months Charm City Streets has encountered spectacular graffiti in a variety of vacant sites. Please note that a physical visit to these dilapidated buildings requires care. Falling beams could squish you. A rotted floor could suddenly give way beneath you. Plus, there is danger of entrapment and myriad other unpleasant incidents.
Recently here in Baltimore, Freddie Gray’s young life came to an abrupt and tragic end at the corner of N. Mount and Presbury Streets.
On the opposite street corner, Baltimore artist Nether is painting a mural on the side of a rowhouse. Freddie’s best friend Brandon helped Nether design the mural. Their goal is to send a positive message of solidarity and hope for a new start out to the local community, the city of Baltimore, and indeed the nation.
Over the past 3 days Nether has worked on the mural which consists of three panels. It is a powerful and moving piece of artwork. The central panel is a larger-than-life bust of Freddie Gray. The left panel shows the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading a march in 1968. The right-side panel shows Freddie’s family and friends leading the march for peace last week in the neighborhood.
Nether gladly takes the time to talk with local residents and with press from around the world. He explains that Black lives matter – that the march for equality, hope, education, opportunity, and freedom from police brutality here in Baltimore has been a work in progress since the mid-1960’s. Nether’s mural and other community plans to use Freddie Gray’s tragic end as a new beginning are powerful, positive steps toward a brighter future.
Below you can see a number of images showing the progress of the mural. Stay tuned here for additional images as Nether nears completion of his artwork over the weekend.