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Baltimore Street Art

by Libby July - last edited October

Baltimore Street Art

 

Street artists are constantly changing the face of Baltimore. No matter where you turn, you’ll find artists that have chosen the streets as their gallery.

 

Here are a few of our favourite spots to see Baltimore street art next time you’re in town.

Open Walls Baltimore

Open Walls | Baltimore Street Art

Artist Gaia's street art project has transformed drab city buildings into something spectacular © Libby Zay
 

Baltimore-based street artist Gaia has been bringing widely recognized artists from around the world to revamp vacant walls in the city’s up-and-coming Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Artists leaving their mark on the neighbourhood have come from faraway places such as Argentina, Finland, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and Ukraine, as well as many local muralists from Baltimore and other U.S. cities. The project began in 2012 and was so successful that Gaia is at it again this summer. When this portion of the project is finished, there will be 35 murals on show throughout the arts district.

Find it: View a map of walls.

Baltimore Love Project

Baltimore Street Art

Baltimore Love Project © Sean Scheidt

 

In 2010, local artist Michael Owen set out on a personal mission to spread love across 20 walls in Baltimore. Each wall is identical: a silhouette of hands spelling out l-o-v-e. Now that the project is complete, Owens has gone on to paint a love mural in Detroit, Michigan and has plans to continue the Baltimore-born project in other cities.

Find it: View a map of walls.

Love Letters

Love Letters | Baltimore Street Art

Street artist Stephen ESPO Powers spells out why he loves the city in his works © Libby Zay
 

An entire block of terraced homes—35 houses, to be exact—has become a canvas for prolific street artist Stephen ESPO Powers. Sprawled across the façade of the houses in bold purple-and-white letters are the words “FOREVER TOGETHER.” Turn the corner and the work continues with “I am here because its HOME.” The work, which is painted on houses slated for demolition, is just a teaser for as many as 10 murals that Powers will create around the city for his “Love Letters to Baltimore” project. Powers, who has completed similar projects in other cities such as Tokyo and Philadelphia, said he was inspired to create the mural after talking to residents in the area. Although this particular mural is temporary, his other works will be less ephemeral.

Find it: East Eager St. at Milton Ave.

Baltimore Mural Program

Mural Program | Baltimore Street Art

Colourful and arresting sights from the Baltimore Mural Program © Owen Byrne/Flickr 
 

By and large, the most widespread public art program is the Baltimore Mural Program. Since 1975, the city of Baltimore has been teaming up with local artists to paint walls across the city. According to the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, more than 250 murals have been created as part of the program. No matter what neighbourhood you find yourself in, chances are you’ll find a wall that’s been touched by some sort of Baltimore street art.

Find it: View a map of walls.

Hero image: Panoramic view of Street artist Stephen ESPO Powers' 'Love Letters' © Libby Zay

Header Image: Bold artwork from the Open Walls program litters the streets © Martha Cooper, Courtesy Station North Arts & Entertainment District

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Have you explored the Baltimore street art scene? Where are your favourite murals in the city? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Libby Zay


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About the author: Libby

Libby Zay

Libby Zay is a Baltimore-based writer with a knack for scouting out the best local experiences and regional foods. She's written for four travel guide books as well as outlets such as AOL Travel, BUST magazine, Gadling.com, Gawker, Gizmodo, the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and several tourism boards and Baltimore-based publications. She's also the founder of The Scout Project (www.thescoutproject.org), a merit badge program for those who want to learn life skills at any age.