Voice of America posts new video on Baltimore’s “Open Walls” Project

About half of the projects murals have been completed

Baltimore street artist Gaia featured in new Voice of America video

Baltimore street artist Gaia featured in new Voice of America video

Photo by: Voice of America

The buzz about Baltimore’s Open Walls public mural project is moving from art blogs to the mainstream media, including a new report by the Voice of America produced for foreign audiences.

The VOA today posted a video featuring interviews with Baltimore street artist Gaia, Station North district executive director Ben Stone and artists from Ukraine and South Africa.

Only about half of the more than 20 planned murals have been completed, Stone said, but he estimates that tens of thousands of people already have seen Gaia’s hand holding a pigeon at the corner of North Avenue and Charles, along with about 10 other completed works.

Stone says a few hours after he posts photos of newly completed mural projects on the Web, they are picked up by a dozen others. “It’s very exciting,” he says.

Vladimir Manzhos, part of Ukrainian duo Interesni Koski, painting a mural

Voice of America

Baltimore is increasingly looking to its growing arts community to help it grow, especially in neighborhoods like the ones in and around Station North, which are pockmarked with neglected properties.

“The city for better or for worse is a canvas, because we have 45,000 abandon buildings in this metropolitan area,” Gaia tells VOA.

An artists’ reception for Open Walls and Whoop Dee Doo will be held Saturday at the Cork Gallery, 302 E. Federal Street, starting at 6 p.m.

The project is expected to be completed by May 25.

For more arts and culture events, see the Brew’s new Coming at You page.

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  • John

    Murals won’t bring the
    middle class back to the City.  
    Taxpayers aren’t going to support a government that allows illegal dirt
    bikes on the streets, a government that allows drug dealers on the corners or a
    government that refuses to incarcerate career criminals.  Those taxpayers
    have moved to the safety of the surrounding counties.  Therefore, City rec centers & swimming pools will
    continue to close.  For more info

    • Westside Resident

      It is easy to throw up your hands and run away rather than to stay and fight for change. Problems will follow you wherever you go – look at crime and poverty stats in the surrounding counties over the past decade. Where you see malaise and corruption I see opportunity and potential. I choose to take a stand and I think there are many others like me. 

  • Unellu

    Murals won’t bring back people? But murals will gladden the hearts of those who stay in the city and those who visit–murals will lighten heavy overcast days–murals will speak to you when you are down–art always does that–murals will support artists–
    murals will make museums of walls and break down the walls between people–
    murals will beautify the ugly, renew the decrepit, rejuvenate the weary, bring a smile to lips, thoughts to heads and uplift spirits.  We do not live by bread alone.  We need murals as we need love, light, laughter and color–we need the splendor of art in our lives.  The counties may be crime free but Baltimore is a gritty living museum, full of interesting folks and murals good enough to eat with one’s eyes.  Let there be murals.  And let not the ilk of John pour sour sop on art with dour prognostications about middle class flight from Baltimore–even those who flee visit and some who visit buy properties, rehab and rent.  Others change their minds and return.  Things change all the time–from rags to riches– then from riches to rags– true for people and true for cities too.     

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