Good Morning Baltimore!
Well, after 4 years, we found ourselves back in Baltimore. Charm City! No big deal, just the place where the Crow and the Wolf met! Inevitably, this visit has been one of reflection, returning to our alma mater and a city that we left under emotional and drastic circumstances.
We were welcomed back with an opportunity to give lectures to students sitting in the exact seats we were in just months before we decided to embark on our unconventional, artistic voyage. We were also able to participate in Occupy MICA, occupying the familiar grounds of the MICA campus. It was surreal, not only to be back in Baltimore, but also to see the apparent consistencies of the art school experience. Though the art school institution can be a fantastic and productive environment, similar grievances with fellow artists and superficiality were expressed and we shared the frustrations that inevitably arise when interacting with the “art world.” These are the things, however, that drive us together and there we stood with a group of young artists who were dedicated to their practice and to the evolution of their political and public presence. The students we met from occupy MICA are combating the disconnect that occurs between artists and pursuing a productive dialogue about their purpose as artists within multiple communities. It was uplifting to meet the students of Occupy MICA and see that they embody a passion and drive that is inspirational and necessary for progress within the art world and society at large.
In addition to engaging with the MICA artists, we reached out to Occupy Baltimore. Unfortunately, their encampment was raided the evening we arrived in Baltimore, but we DID have the opportunity to witness the movement’s vitality and determination. The eviction, a familiar emotional event for us and for all occupations, didn’t prevent the Baltimore occupiers from continuing their general assemblies and community direct actions and planning. Connecting with friends we met in NY, creative voices, and Red Emma’s folks, we witnessed a similar pattern in conflicts and progress. The energy in Baltimore, is undeniably, that of great positivity and determination both on local and national issues.
All in all, despite the eviction!…our Baltimore experience was fantastic. It was great to come back and be welcomed with open arms to a place we both once called HOME.