Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Greetings from Charles North

M. Owen

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.

Mural

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.


Station North Spring Music Festival Seeking Volunteers

The Station North Spring Music Festival is right around the corner, and the Charles North Community Association is seeking volunteers to help make the event a success. Jobs vary from setting up, to helping during event hours (5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.), to closing everything down between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. This is truly a case where many hands make light work, and working at the Festival is a great opportunity to meet new friends and have a good time.

All are welcome, whether you can give a whole day or just an hour or two of your time. If you can help, please contact Mr. Jamy Erny, Event Coordinator, at 410-812-6161 or theearnys@hotmail.com Or, if you’re the spontaneous type, you can also just show up early the day of the Festival at the northeast corner of Charles Street and North Avenue.

See you there!

(click flyer to view larger version)


Urbanite Salutes Central Baltimore Activists

In the late 1960s and 1970s, GHCC’s slogan was “People are the Key.” We still know it’s true. The people who create positive change in our neighborhoods are residents like you who want their communities to be great places to live, work, and raise families.

A community garden in the 2200 block of Barclay Street

This month’s issue of the Urbanite magazine profiles 6 “neighborhood heroes — people fighting for and inspiring change in parts of town that needed it.” Two of those heroes are Bill and Anne Clewell, who have literally transformed a half-dozen rundown homes on Barclay Street in Greenmount West. These rehabbed homes are part of a strategy to bring residents back to the area. Greenmount West is one of the communities included in the Charles North Vision Plan, an exciting plan to turn the central Baltimore area into a center of culture and commerce.
Do you have a hero in your neighborhood? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!
You can also hear more about the Charles North Vision Plan today on Midday with Dan Rodricks on WYPR from 1-2 p.m.