Baltimore mosaic artist decides not to move to LA after 'outpouring of love,' will reopen Fells Point studio

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore artist Loring Cornish, whose glittery mosaic installations can be found around the city, planned to start a new life last year in Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. But, ultimately, he said he couldn’t leave Charm City.

Friends and fans were supportive when he announced his plans to relocate 3,000 miles away to California, where he has lived previously, he said. But after a studio space he planned to rent in Los Angeles fell through, and a tenant to rent his former Thames Street studio in Fells Point didn’t materialize, he said he became daunted by the move. And then, he realized all that he would be leaving behind.

“I got an outpouring of love,” Cornish said Thursday of his prior Facebook post about his plans to move west. “When I wrote that letter I really realized how much my friends love me here. I just couldn’t believe all the responses.”

Cornish said he realized he wanted stay in Baltimore, and pursue an acting career here, and reopen in his galley in Fells Point.

“I have everything I need right here in Baltimore,” he wrote in the Feb. 15 post.

It continued, “I think I have the right decision. It took me for a loop at first because of all the work and money and plans and preparation and good-byes but I have finally moved on and getting back in the studio,” he wrote.

More than 300 people liked the post on Facebook, and numerous people praised his decision.

“That's wonderful news for everyone who was missing you in Fells Point! More importantly, it just shows you're not afraid to strike out on you own, into something new. LA's loss is Baltimore's gain!” one woman wrote.

Cornish plans to formally reopen his Fells Point gallery the first weekend in May.

But first, he said he has to make new art to occupy the space. He said he sold off the majority of his art that has been in the studio.

“I have so much work to do,” Cornish said, before heading back into one of his houses on Parkwood Avenue, which he has transformed with pieces of mirrored and colored glass.

Cornish grew up in the same neighborhood, between Druid Hill Park and Mondawmin Mall. He’s had exhibitions all over the city, including at the Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen House, Morgan State University, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture and the American Visionary Art Museum.

Cornish also has work featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

One of his best-known works is at corner of Charles and Lanvale streets, near the Charles Theatre. Cornish created the colored-glass installation at an old police substation, months after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, with the repeated depictions of the word “please.”

The project, called “Change for the Better” intended to be “uplifting” following the unrest, “but yet still strong about the message that police brutality is wrong,” Cornish said in a previous interview with The Baltimore Sun.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

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