Saturday, July 24, 2010

Art Envy

The Baltimore art scene has been receiving some good press from the folks down south in DC lately. A couple of weeks ago, Blake Gopnik wrote this story in The Washington Post about the thriving art scene in B-More which “is busy establishing itself as the ideal artistic incubator.”

“Over the past five years or so, the art scene there has taken off. The flight of industry has left factories just begging to be turned into studios and living spaces, at prices the most junior artist can afford. There's a fine source for that emerging talent: The Maryland Institute College of Art, one of the country's leading schools, has boosted its enrollment by 50 percent in 10 years. And Baltimore has established institutions with a commitment to the cutting edge, both local and international: the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Contemporary Museum, as well as Maryland Art Place.”

And he didn’t even mention Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country.

This week, Blake was a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU discussing his article. It was interesting to hear these two diehard Washingtonians pine over how great the art scene is in Charm City compared to DC. One of the callers to the show suggested the beer had much to do with the success of the city art scene.

When asked by Kojo about the possibility that DC could ever replicate this scene, Blake suggested that if peace ever breaks out and the Pentagon empties out perhaps it could then backfill with artists.
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