Come celebrate Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday on Lady Day Way, winner of the 2013 PNC Transformative Art Prize. Featuring artworks by Bridget Cimino, James Eichelberger, Michael Kirby, Anne Kotelba, and Joe Rizza.

And, of course, birthday cake.

Tuesday, April 7, 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  Take a free nighttime tour of the murals, mosaics and painted screens that pay homage to Billie Holiday’s life and music on the 200 block of S. Durham St. between Pratt and Gough just east of S. Broadway.

Sunday, April 12, 1pm to 4pm. Enjoy a free block party, featuring a live musical performance by the Rhonda Robinson Quartet. Guided tours of the Billie Holliday-themed artworks of S. Durham St. will also be offered by the Upper Fells Point Improvement Association.


Last month, BOPA teamed up with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability to bring together farmers, artists, and community residents for a charette designed to help us shape our latest public art initiative. Together, we’re developing an unprecedented program that will provide microgrants for temporary public art works on and around hoop houses sited on city-owned vacant property.

Overall, we’re excited about the positive response we got and are grateful for the enthusiastic participants who contributed to our charette. We’re taking all the feedback we received and using it to generate an RFP (Request for Proposals) which we will release later this year.

Here’s a quick recap of the charette in case you missed it:

We started off with a tour of Gather Baltimore‘s hoop house in Oliver. Growing Green Coordinator, Jenny Guillaume, led the group into the plastic tunnel Gather’s farmers use to extend their growing season. It was warm inside despite the freezing temperatures outside the hoop house doors.

Like most hoop houses, Gather’s is made of polythylene film and bent steel sturdy enough for one of the farmers in attendance to show off his pull ups. The sidewalls are removable and the poly can be rolled up to lower the inside temperature and improve airflow during the hot summer months. In addition to wall modifications, shadecloths can also be draped over the structure to lower temperatures, and “cooling paint” can be applied directly to the poly. This particular hoop house was fully sprinklered and, though it had a streetlight nearby, it had no electricity.

After our quick tour, we went back inside for a group discussion, which we broke up into two sections – “Hoop Dreams” and “Hoop Realities”.

We asked: What do you want to see? 

  • Solar-powered lighting, ambient lighting, and in-frame lighting
  • Seasonal decorations / installations
  • Community involvement!
  • Painted-screen style shadecloths
  • Frame painting
  • Colored poly
  • Artistic water gathering/recycling features
  • Other functional artistic features such as: bird houses, trellis, materials that encourage habitats for bees
  • Designed space for farmers to interface with residents
  • Designed space for farmers to process
  • Activating the hoop house during the off season (December-February)

We asked: What kind of design constraints do you foresee?

  • Hoop houses are largely unmonitored when they aren’t being worked in so any equipment (eg. expensive lights or projectors) would not necessarily be secured
  • Some community residents don’t find hoop houses attractive, especially in the winter months, and would prefer that they be set back in lots rather than on main thoroughfares
  • March-November are the busy farming months. December-February are dormant.
  • Planting beds should not be tread on
  • Hoop houses rarely have power sources
  • Water control is often needed to prevent flooding
  • Communities want the food grown inside local hoophouses to be made available to the community

After our discussion, we broke out into groups. Equipped with colored pencils, we all began to draw out our concepts. Some hoop houses turned into caterpillars.  Some turned into castles and living rooms. Others still were retrofitted with wire sculptures, puppets, and sculptural vegetation on designed trellis.

I think it’s safe to say that the possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to what you can do to infuse artwork into local hoop houses. Stay tuned for the release of our micro-granting program later this spring!

Meridian International Center – a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. – is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Community Engagement through the Arts Exchange Program for American mural artists. Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Programs Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with programming support from Meridian, four American artists will travel abroad to collaborate with local youth and underserved populations on community-based projects in the mural arts. Artists will design, implement and administer a 3.5-week, in-country program based on local community issues for the country specified. Projects should be designed to advance U.S. foreign policy goals in that country by addressing a local community issue, as youth or women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, social inclusion, regional stability, and the environment.

Meridian is currently accepting applications for projects in Brazil, Cuba, India, and Turkey. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 31, 2015.

Apply online at:

Baltimore Mural Program

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) seeks mural artists and artist teams to submit qualifications for consideration and inclusion in the Baltimore Mural Program’s Mural Artist Registry. The Mural Artist Registry will be used to aid the selection of qualified artists for Baltimore Mural Program commissions and to distribute notifications regarding upcoming mural artist opportunities. This registry will also be made publicly available for groups seeking artists for hire.

Created in 1975, the Baltimore Mural Program aims to make Baltimore neighborhoods more attractive, instill a sense of pride, provide employment for artists in their own field, combat graffiti in neighborhoods, and engage people in the beautification of their communities. Since then, the Baltimore Mural Program has produced more than 250 murals across the city, creating an outdoor public museum for the enjoyment of the people of Baltimore.

1) Artists 18 years of age or older are eligible to apply.
2) Artists must demonstrate their ability to design and successfully execute large-scale, exterior, wall-based work.
3) BOPA employees and their family members are eligible to apply for inclusion in the registry, but are not eligible for Baltimore Mural Program commissions.

1) Artistic Quality
2) Technical Ability
3) Community Engagement Approach & Experience

Applications are available online at:

FEBRUARY 13, 2015

March 5, 2015

The application will require the following:

1) Artist Statements: Brief descriptions of your work as an artist, your interest and qualifications for the Baltimore Mural Program, as well as your experience and approach to working with communities.
2) Resume: A current resume / CV. Artist teams or collaborative groups may submit a combined resume.
3) References: Name, address, email, and phone number for three (3) professional references.
4) Images: Five (5) images of past artworks. All image files should be in JPEG format, max 1240×1240 pixels, and should be titled: LastnameFirstname_IMAGE#.jpg (SmithJane_01.jpg). If the artist cannot submit an image of a mural, it is recommended that the artist produce one sample design for a hypothetical mural that reflects the artist’s style and imagery, in addition to images of existing work.
5) Image List: Attach a document detailing information regarding each work sample image including:
– Title of Work
– Dimensions
– Medium
– Year
– Location (if applicable)
– Three (3) sentence description.

Maggie Villegas, Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts,

Congratulations to Maria Aldana & the Creative Alliance on a successful 2014 Great Halloween Lantern Parade & Festival! Thousands came out to celebrate in Patterson Park this past Saturday, October 25. The free festivities included lantern making, live music, and a nighttime parade through the park that culminated in a collaborative beatbox/samba drumcorps performance by Sho’dekeh and Batala Washington, backed by animation from Joseph Faura and Carrie Renolds.

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