If you’re looking for an art-centric destination that is more than a one-stop shop then consider spending your day in the Station North Arts District. Located in the heart of the city, Station North has something for everyone—even the non-designer in your life.
Founded in 2002, Station North is the home of the first State designated Arts & Entertainment District in Baltimore. One of 22 in the State of Maryland, the five block radius that is Station North is home to dozens of projects, installations, local galleries and cafes. While it’s hard to pick just one, here are a few of the highlights.
For the street art fan, the neighborhood is scattered with large, vibrant wall murals as part of the Open Walls project. Kicking off in 2012, Station North joined forces with local artist Gaia to produce the project, which features nearly two dozen murals and art installations.
Tapping the talents of local and global artists of all backgrounds and nationalities, the project succeeded at and surpassed its goal of invigorating the city and bringing art into a community that would otherwise have just another exposed brick wall. Over two months, Open Walls earned several “Best Of” awards from the Baltimore City Paper as well as features in the Washington Post and New York Times.
More than three years after its inception, the murals can still be found and admired by the public. Spanning several blocks surrounding North Avenue, Open Walls makes for a great self-guided tour. A catalog of the project is also available from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) bookstore.
For the movie fan, consider seeing a show at The Charles Theater. The 1150-seat historic, multi-screen theater shows new releases as well as classics, as part of its revival series. The building itself was designed in 1892 by architect Jackson C. Gott and went through many purposes in its life, including a streetcar barn, library and ballroom. Even through its 100+ year lifespan, the integrity of the main auditorium remains mostly untouched since it was originally dubbed the Times Theatre in 1939. The Charles is also home to family friendly anime and movie nights.
The Station North Arts District is also home to several local eateries too. If you are in the mood for house roasted coffee and an all vegetarian menu, consider stopping by Red Emma’s.
On the corner of Maryland and North Avenues, Red Emma is not just a coffee shop. Owned by its employees, Red Emma’s houses a bookshop, complete with radical, small press books, as well as regular schedule of community fueled talks, workshops and author events. Promoting a “no-hate, everyone is welcome” environment as one of their core values, Red Emma’s makes for a relaxing stop within the Arts District.
Image Credit: stationnorth.org
Shannon Crabill is an HTML Email Developer at T. Rowe Price. Outside of the Internet you can find her riding her motorcycle and binge-watching home improvement shows on HGTV. Tweet her at @shannon_crabill.