One of the many things I love about Baltimore is its quirkiness. There’s a fairly large arts scene and it’s not necessarily all about the classics. I first came to Baltimore 8 years ago in the beginning of July and heard about this arts festival that was held every year. It’s called ArtScape. It is the largest free arts festival in the U.S. In the years that I’ve lived in Baltimore, the festival has expanded to include a whole area around the Station North area. I might argue that there used to be better artists that would show in the main strip around MICA, but I do like the diversity that the festival brings.
One of the things about ArtScape is that as it’s always in mid-July, it is always BALLS hot. Last year Ernie and I went and within an hour of us getting there, we had to leave it was so hot. I did end up going back by myself as Matisyahu was doing a show (for FREE!). Ernie is out of town this year, so I went by myself to check it out. I wanted to see the band Clutch this year, so I went on Saturday after all the rain ended. It was nice as it wasn’t hot. I actually had a sweater with me!
I started out by exploring the Station North area first and was really happy I did. This is where I first encountered the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. They were having an air guitar contest. It may have been pretty awesome. Right next to the Rock Opera, there was what would have been Ernie’s favorite part had he been there. Yes, it was a rhino with wings.
It’s not something you see every day. So, I moved on and wanted to check out the other exhibits in the Sideshow area. Next up was this strange wooden “village” built by architects from Morgan State. I really wasn’t sure what the point of it was, but it was interesting nonetheless.
I turned around and saw John Waters! Well, it was John Water’s face…. And a huge one at that.
After listening to a band that included a guitar, drums, a trumpet, and an electric cello, I decided I’d had enough of the sideshow area and wanted to check out the main area. On the way back to the main area, I encountered some very strange “exhibits”.
And this one…
Yes, those are port-a-potties covered in knit/crochet. I think I’ve seen everything. I headed over to the newest exhibit that I’d seen reported in the news. There is this huge metallic face structure with a bunch of different control boxes so that observers can make the different aspects of the face move. It was pretty fun to watch all the expressions being made.
I went up and down the street in front of MICA to see the vendors. I didn’t see anything that I hadn’t seen in the past. Plus, I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything, so I would feel bad if I just took pictures to show of stuff that I wanted to reproduce for free. So instead, I headed over to the main stage to hear Clutch!
They totally rocked! It was a great show. But I did feel a bit out of place. I didn’t have enough tattoos, nor was I a guy with a long ponytail. Yes, the show was a little Dundalk-ish. But it was a good show. So, I did what any other classy lady by herself would do. I went to the corner store and bought myself a beer :).