Station North Arts & Entertainment Inc. presented Open Walls Baltimore 1 & 2 in the spring of 2012 and 2014, respectively. Open Walls Baltimore selected more than 30 street artists from around the world to create large-scale murals in the Station North area. Sites were specifically selected to draw positive attention to the District. Since Open Walls’ last exhibition, the area has seen a boost in economic development, including a surge of new business investments and an influx of arts-based programs. Walking through Station North, visitors can see some of the world’s best examples of street art.
Station North Arts & Entertainment (SNAE) didn’t stop at commissioning murals. As part of Open Walls, SNAE produced a variety of events ranging from artist talks and small gatherings to community potlucks, live music performances, walking tours, and parties. These events were free and open to the public. As such, they fostered discussions about the role of public art in building community and gave Baltimore residents the opportunity to form lasting connections. A neighborhood-wide survey found that the Open Walls project instilled a sense of pride and gave the community an identity.
More than twenty-five murals can be seen on a walking tour of the Station North district. Begin at East Oliver Street and Brentwood Avenue to see New Orleans artist, Momo’s, colorful abstract art before heading a block west to Barclay Street to see Argentine artist, Jaz’s constellation installation near the Barclay Garden. Head north on Barclay towards Lafayette to catch murals by Baltimore natives, Gary Kachadourian and Nanook. Detours down side streets reveal more murals that shouldn’t be missed. Heading west down Lafayette towards the Charles Theater, spectators can see a half dozen more paintings before heading north to view the final murals, including one by Open Walls curator, Gaia. Plan to spend at least a half-day walking and be prepared that the north end of the tour becomes a bit busier with car traffic. Visitors may also choose to drive between sites.