Michael Owen, creator and lead artist of the Baltimore Love Project (BLP), has just finished a mural on the corner of St. Paul and Lafayette to promote Charles North. We caught up with him yesterday to learn the story behind the creation of this vibrant new “entryway” to an up-and-coming neighborhood.
How did this Charles North mural come together?
The Charles North Community Association asked me to pitch an idea for the wall. There’s a lot of transition happening in that neighborhood, a lot of artist coming in from other countries to paint and a lot of new and different ideas. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, but i wanted to pitch an idea that focused on identity…a place maker, so to speak. The mural you see here is very close to the original drawing I sent them. They liked my mural around the corner, behind the Chesapeake, which had a similar styling to it, so I maintained that look in this mural as well.
It’s hard to live in Baltimore and not know the Love murals. They are a signature feature of Baltimore that we all enjoy! Is there something that we might not know about the BLP, its artists or projects?
There’s a lot to know, just depends how deep you want to go! BLP has always been about putting the murals out but to make that happen we have become a much broader organization. From setting up booths at festivals to lectures at Universities, from contributions in book and magazines, to wedding shoots…we have directly interacted with tens of thousands of people. Our Facebook page has over 17,000 fans at the moment and they are all there for different reasons. Not only is that a sign of success, but it makes me extremely happy.
The BLP website says you’ve lived and worked all across the United States. With all that travelling and experience, what attracts you to Baltimore?
Baltimore’s value of community, the opportunities for artists that want to try something different and my 7 year old son that lives here too.
Michael’s is among the many amazing murals that are scattered throughout Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District.