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Baltimore Artists Guild to hold outdoor art festival in Catonsville

Catonsville residents Edward Williams and Lorraine Imwold have been busy since December planning an outdoor art festival for the spring.

"I wish we had started a little earlier — there's a lot of stuff to do," Williams said.

The Paradise resident is also president of the Baltimore Artists Guild, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports the arts in Baltimore County and surrounding areas.

Saturday, it will be hosting a Spring Artstravaganza 15 Mellor Ave. that will bring art, theater performances, music and food to Catonsville from 1 to 8 p.m.

Even with the April 26 event only 10 days away, the duo was still running errands.

"It's almost like a full-time job preparing for it," said Imwold, a local artist and member of the Baltimore Artists Guild. "We're going to be checking off a daily task list up until the day of the event. But, I'm excited and it's going to a way to get people connected."

Williams said it's part of an effort to raise awareness about the arts in Catonsville, which he hopes will continue to grow.

"It's definitely going to provide awareness that there is a Baltimore Artists Guild," he said.

Williams has painted a number of murals in Catonsville, including one at the Paradise bus shelter on Frederick Road at Paradise Avenue, and said he'd like to see Catonsville become an arts destination.

He said he hopes this weekend's festival will spark interest in the area and beautify the community. n

"Somewhere down the line, Catonsville got the designation as 'Music City Maryland' and I hope it will become 'Music and Art City' someday," said Scott Schools, who will be among the dozen volunteers at the event.

"I'm a huge fan of the arts and I'm looking forward to the festival," said Schools, who lives in Paradise Catonsville.

The Gathering, a group of Baltimore food trucks will be at the event, and will donate part of their proceeds to the Baltimore Artists Guild.

Food offerings will include classic American fare, international cuisine and a variety of desserts.

"We are excited to work with the Baltimore Artists Guild on any already successful event to bring more attention to the fabulous work they are doing," said Jennifer Berg, a spokeswoman for The Gathering Baltimore.

Imwold said The Gathering's events usually draw between 2,000 and 2,500 people.

"In general, we're excited that it's going to be a larger group," Imwold said. "We're hoping it will be more of a party atmosphere."

Imwold said there's been support from a number of businesses in the area, who know the event will draw people to Catonsville.

"The biggest part is that Catonsville has really opened its arms and said, Let's do this.' " Imwold said.

There will also be live music on a performance stage donated by Bill's Music and a beer garden. The live performances lineup includes: Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, Catonsville Children's Theater, Baba Ganoush, 4 on the Floor, Justin Myles, Mosno Al-Moseeki and Acacia Sears.

"When there's more of a party atmosphere, people will stay longer. And when people stay longer, they spend more money on the art," Imwold said.

In previous years, the group held the event at the Bloomsbury Center on Bloomsbury Avenue where artists displayed their work on 6-foot long tables. This year, they will display their art in 10- by 10-foot tents, which will allow artists to show more "breadth of their work," Imwold said.

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