by Petula Caesar
“Quirky” is definitely a word that can be used to describe this city in general. In keeping with that quirkiness, creativity in Baltimore’s arts scenes often take on elements of quirkiness outwardly that demonstrate absolute genius once you scratch the surface. This past Sunday, February 15th, there was a pop-up community event hosted by The Family Arts Museum and curated by Melani Douglass called “Love On The Line: Stories Of A Baltimore Worth Living For”. It fully falls into that quirky-genius category.
This live performance/art show event was held at The Spin Cycle Coin Laundry at 2020 Maryland Avenue. Artwork of the students from Excel Academy, a presentation by The Baltimore Girls, and guest performances by Ama Chandra and Jahiti (of Baltimore supergroup BrownFISH) were just part of the activities geared towards people showing Baltimore love by telling their unique Baltimore stories through song, film, and art. The experience was a perfect example of how art must step out of “traditional” gallery spaces (with their often decidedly Eurocentric mindsets), and make itself at home in the community, becoming a part of ordinary people’s day to day lives. Finding ways to show off Baltimore’s beauty to its “regular” citizens so that they can take pride in it can go a long way towards improving how this city sees itself.
Kudos to Melani Douglass for this vision. I’d love to see this become a touring exhibit with rotating artists and exhibitions, hitting the hottest laundromats in town!