Baltimore City Paper

The Art Scene

The city's art scene may not get the same level of national attention as the music scene but it is every bit as vibrant. And with the planned extension of the Station North Arts District, the new Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District on the west side, and the partnership of Single Carrot Theatre and Woodberry Kitchen in Remington, there will be even more venues to accommodate the growing number of artists, who are deciding?like the Wham City collective did almost a decade ago when they relocated to the city, and Single Carrot did when they moved from Colorado shortly after that?that Baltimore is one of the best places in the country to make art. And with filmmakers like Matthew Porterfield and Lotfy Nathan blowing up the festival circuit, the rest of the country might just start to recognize that as well.


American Visionary Art Museum


800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900,

Take care not to be blinded when approaching this building on a sunny day: It's covered in mirrored mosaics bright enough to set a fleet of ships on fire. The inside is just as whimsical, featuring the weird works of self-taught artists on the fringe. The store on the first level has anything you could imagine ever needing, and several things you never thought of.


Baltimore Museum of Art

10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1700,

Home of the billion-dollar post-Impressionism Cone Collection, the BMA also has a large sampling of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, the last of which is housed in the museum's impressive new Contemporary Wing. With its director, Doreen Bolger, arguably the city's biggest booster of artists, the museum itself has once again become central to the city's art scene. Sit with Rodin's "The Thinker" before you go to the sculpture gardens on a journey through the figurative to the abstract. And it's free.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture

830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800,

This museum, dedicated to African-American history, is distinguished by its powerful curation of shows, such asGrowing up AFRO: Snapshots of Black Childhood from the Afro-American Newspaper, or Ashe to Amen African Americans and Biblical Imagery.

Walters Art Museum

600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000,


Since the Walters is free, we often slip away to spend a few minutes with one of our favorite pieces or in one of our favorite periods: the stunning sarcophagus with Dionysus and Ariadne; or maybe "Chamber of Wonders," which recreates a cabinet of curiosities from the European Age of Exploration, filled with stuffed birds and giant beetles and curiosities of human ingenuity and the natural world. You could immerse yourself in the Mesopotamian, the ancient Egyptian, Greek, or medieval for days or weeks at a time. Check out the special exhibitions on rotation.

Art Centers and Galleries

Area 405

405 E. Oliver St., (410) 528-1968,

This massive, artist-owned warehouse is the perfect place to go see a clandestine performance after dark or to see an out-there group show. Located in the Station North Arts District, it's close to tons of other art spaces.

C. Grimaldis Gallery

523 N. Charles St., (410) 539-1080,


One of Baltimore's only high-end, big-name, selling galleries, Grimaldis plays a unique role in the art scene here. But the venerable nature of the gallery doesn't take away its edge.

Creative Alliance at the Patterson

3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,

This Highlandtown creative art center hosts something almost every night, from gallery shows to music performances to film screenings and more. They also do community outreach, offer workshops, host parties, and have a fantastic bar/restaurant on the premises. Seriously, this is the place to be on any given day.

Goya Contemporary

3000 Chestnut Ave., Studio 214, (410) 366-2001,


Goya represents major artists like Joyce J. Scott and Soledad Salame, and produces an impressive array of publications.

Guest Spot @ the Reinstitute

1715 N. Calvert St.,

Curator Rod Malin moved this gallery from his Fells Point home into the Station North Arts District with a radical idea. In addition to curating a wide variety of shows, Malin hopes that the Guest Spot can provide a kind of alternative art education with programming, lectures, and students.

H&H Building

405 W. Franklin St.


The H&H Building hosts several different galleries and performance spaces, including Nudashank and Gallery Four (two of the best galleries in town).

Load of Fun

120 W. North Ave.,

The former home of Single Carrot and Glass Mind theaters and a number of artists studios is closed right now. We keep the listing, knowing that this address will be valuable to you. Something cool will be there.

Maryland Art Place

8 Market Place, Power Plant Live, Suite 100, (410) 962-8565,


Maryland Art Place, or MAP, feels like a bit of Station North snuck into David Cordish's Power Plant Live complex. With powerful curation of ambitious shows and the Curators' Incubator program to help train new curators, MAP is redesigning the, er, map of Baltimore's cultural landscape.

Maryland Institute College of Art

1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 669-9200,

Spread across MICA's Bolton Hill campus, on the edge of Mount Vernon, are a number of galleries featuring the works of graduate and undergraduate students, professors, and working artists. You have the chance to see art of every medium, from video to video game art, from high-caliber artists who know how to put on a show.

School 33 Art Center

1427 Light St., (443) 263-4350,


There's always something different going on at this Federal Hill space. The former brick-and-brownstone building is home to ever-changing gallery shows and studio and classroom space for artists and the community.


510 W. Franklin St.,

This new artist-run gallery on the west side shows what a little ambition and a lot of talent can do.

Springsteen Gallery

1511 Guilford Ave., B303


This gallery in the Copycat Building is one of the brightest lights in Station North—both literally and figuratively.

Station North Chicken Box

1 W. North Ave.,

The new headquarters of Station North Arts and Entertainment Inc. acts as a welcome center for the district, an art gallery, and a theater.


Annex Theater

1 W. North Ave.,


This scrappy experimental theater does everything from adaptations of Philip K. Dick to gender-bending Macbeth.

Center Stage

700 N. Calvert St., (410) 986-4000,

This professional powerhouse offers lively new seasons year after year; this year's has a bit of everything, including classics such as Twelfth Night (March 5-April 6) and comedic musicals such as Animal Crackers (Sept. 4-Oct. 13).

Everyman Theatre

315 W. Fayette St., (410) 752-2208,


With the slogan "Engage. Inspire. Transform.," this professional theater company shapes the local theater landscape with a mix of time-honored classics and innovative programming in their gorgeous new location.

Fells Point Corner Theatre

251 S. Ann St., (410) 276-7837,

Operating out of an old firehouse, this group brings theater to one of the city's most historical districts.

Glass Mind Theatre

307 W. Baltimore St., (443) 475-0223,


This group of young artists strives to connect theater to the Baltimore community.

Hippodrome Theatre

12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400,

This stunning historic building hosts traveling Broadway shows, such as this year's production of The Book of Mormon.

Mobtown Theater

3600 Clipper Mill Road,


This theater, in the former London Fog factory at Meadow Mills, hosts the Mobtown Players, who present stunning reimaginings of classics along with original fare.

Single Carrot Theatre

1727 N. Charles St., (443) 844-9253,

This troupe moved to Baltimore from Colorado en masse. Having left their longtime home in the Load of Fun, they now occupy the former Everyman, but plan to move to a new home in Remington next year.

Spotlighters Theatre

817 St. Paul St., (410) 752-1225,


After celebrating 50 years of theater, the Spotlighters aggressively put on large-scale productions in their small, in-the-round theater.

Theatre Project

45 W. Preston St., (410) 752-8558,

This group has been actively seeking experimental programming to show in its black box theater since the early 1970s.

Vagabond Players

806 S. Broadway, (410) 563-9135,


Contrary to the meaning of their name, this group is sticking around to produce some entertaining theater; it's the oldest continuously operated community theater in the United States.

> Email Baynard Woods, Rebecca Scott Lord, and Tory Haltermann