Artscape Baltimore Gallery/Survival Guide: Events

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 15, 2015 Baltimore + Events


It’s Artscape time in Baltimore! The festival is the largest free, public art event in America, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. But, as Whitney pointed-out last year, the main fair is pretty much just carnival rides, corporate sponsors, and fried food.

Mostly, it’s an excuse for people to (legally) get drunk in the street, a cherished Baltimore passtime.

Which is not to say that Artscape isn’t worth a visit. The spectacle-driven street fest might not be particularly fulfilling (with the exception of the people-watching) but galleries, DIY spaces, and institutions use the event’s buzz to cram more stellar programming than one can possibly see into the weeks surrounding this weekend’s public festivities. From the Sondheim Prize finalist exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, to a budding alternative art fair (which Corinna reviewed last year) there is a lot to see. Weekend-long highlights include the Artist-Run Art Fair in a parking garage on the 1700 block of N. Charles Street and the High Zero Foundation’s Worlds in Collusion experimental music festival at University of Baltimore. [Full disclosure: I have work in Lil’ Gallery’s booth at the Artist-Run Art Fair] Oh yeah, and once an hour there’s going to be a post-apocalyptic rock opera about teens on Spring Break.

So, as the Spanish would say, aprovecha my local knowledge and plan your Artscape week with the following recommended performances, openings, and assorted other events. Wisely, many shows opened last weekend, but will have gallery hours during the fair. I’ve listed those here. They’re definitely worth seeing in your unscheduled time, which looks like it’s going to be Saturday. For example, there aren’t any really amazing events I can think of Saturday afternoon, but that’s the only window to see Watching Things Burn, a group show curated by Alex Ito, during Springsteen Gallery‘s hours.

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Maryland Art Place

218 W. Saratoga St.
Baltimore, MD
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Young Blood 2015

Every year, MAP hosts a juried exhibition of the best work from the region’s MFA programs. This year, the selected artists are Amanda Agricola, OluShola A. Cole, L. E. Doughtie, Alex Ebstein, Rob Hackett, Magali Hébert-Huot, and Christine Wolfe Weller.

As I mentioned before, Alex Ebstein’s work is amazing. If you can’t make it to her solo show at Goucher, this is an opportunity to see it without leaving the city.

If you can’t catch the opening, MAP has gallery hours from Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-4pm


1300 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Sondheim Semi-Finalist Exhibition

This is the little-sister exhibition of The Sondheim Finalist show at the Baltimore Museum of Art, although it’s much, much bigger. We were kind of overwhelmed last year. This years semi-finalists are a really solid bunch. There are too many artists to list, but some of the highlights are Hasan Elahi, Dustin Carlson, Stewart Watson, Ginevra Shay, Hoesy Corona, Seth Adelsberger, Stephanie Barber, and Kyle Bauer.

These are all artists who are seriously cementing Baltimore’s art scene to the map.

Even if you miss the opening, stop in to the gallery during the weekend—MICA is right on the main drag of Artscape’s vendors.

[Image: Lauren Adams]

Area 405

405 E. Oliver St.
Baltimore, MD
7:00 p.m - 10:00 p.m.Website

Gilding the Lily

All of the art in this show is glittery. Need I say more?

It’s curated by René Treviño and Stewart Watson, two of the hardest-working artists in town and takes place in Watson’s gallery—a cavernous industrial space on the bottom floor of an artist-owned cooperative that’s a must-see for any Baltimore visitor.

Featuring Chivas Clem, Mary Annella Frank & Francesca Bozzelli, Marian April Glebes, Jonathan Latiano, Trudi Y Ludwig, Jonathan Monaghan, Jefferson Pinder, Dan Steinhilber, and Jane Yoon

Randall Scott Projects

216 W. Read Street
Baltimore, MD
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.mWebsite

Untitled no. 6

A group exhibition at a gallery that recently relocated here from D.C. Featuring Stephanie Barber, Ryan Hoover, Benjamin Kelley and Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann.

Barber’s practice combines performance, moving images, and publishing. Hoover uses high-tech processes to produce beautifully crafted sculptures, and Benjamin Kelley recently wowed me at his Sondheim Finalist exhibition. I’m curious to see what this show is going to look like, but I bet it’s going to be good.

[Image: Arbor-Algorithms by Ryan Hoover]


Full Circle Photo

33 E. 21st St.
Baltimore, MD
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.Website

Abrasion Resistance Happy Hour

This reception is cleverly in the middle of the afternoon, so it’s a great break between the insanity of running around to Artscape daytime activities and a million openings at night. Featuring experimental photography from Stephanie Benassi, Leah Miriam Cooper, Jay Gould & Brian Miller.

Bonus: the reception ends at the same time the ICA’s opening begins two blocks away.

E. Oliver Street between Greenmount and Guilford Avenues

Baltimore, MD
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website


City Paper once described ALLOVERSTREET as “The Best Art Walk That Doesn’t Suck” and it’s the best description I can think of. It’s a night of simultaneous performances, openings, and weird shit that happens in the artist-packed buildings that line or border E. Oliver Street (a short walk from Artscape). It’s really what I wish Artscape could be more like. Expect things like queer performance art in someone’s live-work loft above a surprisingly professional gallery like Terrault Contemporary. Most of the events happen in the famed Copycat building on Guilford Avenue, but there are galleries and warehouse spaces around the corner towards Greenmount too, so wander. Here’s what’s planned:

(click on individual gallery names for specific Facebook events)

Area 405
Gilding The Lily
Curated by René Treviño and Stewart Watson
405 East Oliver Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Gallery CA
Work by Lisa Solomon & Christine Buckton Tilman
440 East Oliver Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Lil Gallery 
No More Sun!
By Sara Grose
The Copycat Building, Apt C403, 1511 Guilford Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202

Terrault Contemporary
Lost & Tell
by Beth Hoeckel
1515 Guilford Ave, The Copycat Building
Baltimore, MD. 21202

La Bodega Gallery
Rx//A100 special blends
A group show featuring works by:
Alex Leggin, Danyell Perkins, Delaney Cato, Drew Hagelin, Erick Antonio Benitez, Mark Wehberg, Pablo M Machioli, Phaan Howng, Pixie Shope and Vincent Seadler.
1511 Guilford Ave, The Copycat Building, Unit A100
Baltimore, MD. 21202

Institute of Contemporary Art Baltimore

16 W. North Ave
Baltimore, MD
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Emily Campbell: Imaginary Islands

Emily Campbell’s huge drawings and smaller paintings depict a dizzying array of characters engaging in strange rituals and sex acts. Druids gang-banging each other? It’s a great introduction to the weirdness of Baltimore, rendered in crisp lines that are much easier to process than the crazy visual overload that is Artscape.

Metro Gallery

1700 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD
6:00 p.m. Website


Metro Gallery is an art gallery and performance venue with a liquor license. That means, in the course of it’s 8-year existence, it’s hosted everything from dance parties to film screenings, black metal shows to installation art, and solo exhibitions alongside B-more club performances. It’s somewhat of an institution in the neighborhood. This group show is kinda like a retrospective of the gallery itself; all of the artists involved have had solo shows at Metro in the past 8 year.

Jeremy Crawford, Alyssa Dennis, Adam Estes, Katherine Fahey, Felipe Goncalves, Elena Johnston & William Cashion, Jim Lucio, Greg McLemore, Spoon Popkin, D’metrius Rice, Regina Tumasella, Kelly Walker

It’s a good round-up that includes some of the city’s most noteworthy artists. And Metro is a good stopping point between the ICA and ALLOVERSTREET

[Image: one of Jim Lucio’s polaroids]


Guest Spot @ The Reinstitute

1715 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website


Brooklyn’s Transmitter and Baltimore’s Guest Spot team up with a crazy long, international litany of artist-run spaces to present a companion program to the Alternative Art Fair. This exhibition examines the politics and ethos of the artist-run space or event that has been made more relevant by declining faith in institutions. It’s going to be good, and appropriate to the plethora of alternative events that have sprung-up as foils to the spectacle of Artscape.

Open Space

512 W. Franklin St.
Baltimore, MD
7 p.m. - 10 p.m

Sean Boylan Book Release Party

Open Space is hosting a launch party for two publications created by Sean Boylan to document exhibitions he’s curated at the artist-run gallery in the past year: Caprice [pictured] and Longing for Leisure.  There’s also a two-person show up in the space right now: BECAUSE HE by Magali Hébert-Huot and Zack Ingram.

It’s a great way to end a day of gallery hopping—Open Space’s neighborhood, near Lexington Market, is jam-packed with galleries with great shows.

The Wind-Up Space

12 W. North Ave.
Baltimore, MD
6:00 p.m.Website

Everybody All The TIme

A queer-tastic DIY talk show at an art gallery/bar. It’s free! Performance artists and drinking. Beautiful.


Rocket to Venus

3360 Chestnut Ave
Baltimore, MD
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.Website


Ok, this is not an art event. But Artscape in Baltimore is a little like Basel in Miami: by Sunday you will be sick of art and never want to set foot in Midtown ever again.

Plus, it’s hosted by DJ Lemz and Emily Rabbit, two figures in the music and nightlife scenes that are famously intertwined with the art scene here. Expect many a weary artist relaxing with a mimosa and rare Italo track.

Bonus: Rocket to Venus is located just across Wyman Park from the BMA, so you can check out the Sondheim Finalist show at the museum while you’re uptown.

Club Orpheus

1003 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD
9:00 p.m. Website

Ono-Sendai II Cyberpunk Party

Okay, this is also not technically an art event, but really, it should be. Again, it’s an escape from the Artscape zone (Club Orpheus is one of the last vestiges of weird in Baltimore’s very-gentrified Little Italy) and seems pretty relevant to a lot of the discourse here. A west-coast friend once described their first visit to Baltimore as “discovering a city where every weird subculture you thought had died out was secretly thriving”. Cyberpunk is everywhere here. Perhaps it’s because we’re one of the most dystopian locales in the Western world? Maybe it’s because Baltimore’s culture-makers have to be online all the time to be relevant in the art world? (*Wink, wink)

At any rate, how can you say no to a party named after a computer in a William Gibson novel?

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