This is Tony Walker reporting on Baltimore's 21st annual Artscape. As you know, Artscape is a citywide celebration showcasing Baltimore's cultural district, the Bolton Hill, Mount Royal area. It's a festival of visual and performing arts which this year included musical guests, such as The Ohio Players, Kool and The Gang, Hiroshima, Lowen and Navarro, Los Lobos, Buck Wheat Zydeco, and Dar Williams. Dr.Didg (photo enclosed) gave a rousing jazz performance with his electronic didgerrydoo.(how do you spell that) There were Dance, Opera, and Theater acts, as well as, the popular Poetry and Hip Hop Slams. Strolling performers, including the Unicycle Lady , Jim Frank - magician with flea circus, and Jerry Brown with his monkey, Django (photo enclosed) enhanced the street festival atmosphere. Baltimore also welcomed the Ninth annual Baltimore Art Car Show (see photos).Maryland Institute College of Art presented several gallery shows "Three Strong Painters" and "Oddstruments, a survey of invented playable instruments" with performances (see photos). With all of the activities, including the film festival, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra free performances, Family performance tent and off site exhibits, it was positively too much to take in in one weekend.
The Artists Market treated the public to an abundance of fine art. Robert McClintock's digitally altered photographs showed a mastery of a new media and revealed the artist's love of Baltimore and his whimsical view of animals. His photographs looked like rich paintings. Brad W. Foster presented his unique style of pen and ink which captured a decorative graphic ideal. John Cheers works in ceramics were alive with sprite like faces. He demonstated a mastery of a fresh approach to bringing light into his work with the use of glass and translucent glaze. Charlene Rene Clark reminds us that Baltimore is Charm City USA. Her use of bright colors and humorous subjects made people passing by slow down to look and smile. A local blacksmith, Paul Matthaei, of Old Ellicot Forge shared his custom iron work and fine ornamental accents. His work showed meticulous attention to fine detail and polish.
Baltimore's Office of Promotion & the Arts has demonstrated a vision and a responsibility in promoting the arts in this little big town, but is the local artists who supply the talent and the people of Baltimore who supply the energy that make Artscape a great happening every year.
by Tony Walker, Baltimore Maryland
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much more about Artscape 1999 - Present