June 8, 2015 would’ve been my wedding anniversary had my husband not left me for one of our friends, filed for divorce, then remarried her just two months after my divorce was final. In addition, it would’ve been one of those special anniversaries. You know, the ones with the years ending in either the number “0” or “5.”

Yeah, it sucked for me but I was determined to make the best out of what could’ve been a melancholy situation. I decided to write a special post about my memories of the now-defunct Hutzler’s just for the day itself since my mother came close to buying me a wedding gown from that store only to find that there weren’t any available in my size at the time. (We subsequently went to a more traditional bridal gown shop in Glen Burnie that has also since gone out of business.)

Once that post went live, I decided to do some more fun stuff for myself. I learned that The Wind-Up Space in Baltimore was holding another session of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. In addition, that particular session was the Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore chapter’s 7th anniversary so I thought it would be more fun to celebrate an actual anniversary on June 8 instead of commemorating an anniversary that could’ve been but never was.

Heck, in some ways I went full circle. My husband and I were married in my parents’ backyard in Glen Burnie. After the reception winded down, my new husband and I drove to Baltimore where we spent our wedding night at a hotel there. The following afternoon we returned to my parents’ home in Glen Burnie where we opened our wedding presents then we headed off to BWI Airport where we flew to Orlando for our honeymoon (where we ended up spending the week with my cousin and her then-husband). So it was appropriate for me to spend night of June 8 in Baltimore once again.

Once I arrived in the area the first thing I did was treat myself to dinner at this Popeye’s that had recently opened in the area. It may not have been fancy but I still liked it. (I’ve eaten at other Popeye’s before so I knew what kind of food they served.) After dinner I took advantage of the long days to walk around the Station North Arts District and take some photos before I went inside The Wind-Up Space.

I found this wheat pasted flyer for the Rez Ball XII that will be held later this month. I liked the neon Cheshire Cat. What I also found interesting is that this event is being held in Lanham, which is close to my own home.

photo1

The Station North Arts District seems to be coming alive in color. There are some wall murals that I haven’t seen before with older wall murals whose colors seem brighter than on previous visits. (I have no idea if they were recently given a new paint job or if it’s the effect of the bright spring sunshine.) But, on the other hand, there are still boarded-up buildings that could use a makeover so they could be inhabitable once again. (My big beef with Baltimore is that there are so many boarded-up buildings yet there are a lot of homeless people who are literally living on the streets. It seems so logical for the city to take over those boarded-up buildings, bring them up to code, then find a way of making them affordable enough for homeless people to move in.) Yet the boarded up buildings also have some art on them, as if some artist is thinking that if the buildings are going to remain boarded up, might as well paint some pretty art on the boards. It’s such an interesting conundrum.

photo2

photo3

photo4

photo5

photo6

photo7

photo8

photo9

photo10

photo11

photo12

photo13

photo14

photo15

photo16

photo17

photo18

photo19

photo20

photo21

Someone had painted footsteps in bright green paint on the sidewalk leading from St. Paul Street to North Avenue.

photo22

photo23

Near the painted footprints, someone did a really pretty mirrored mosaic work of art.

photo24

photo25

Then there is this building with a white billboard that’s at the intersection of West North Avenue and North Charles Street. I’ve seen this billboard before on previous trips. Here it is in 2013, when the billboard was nothing but a blank space with a tiny bit of graffiti.

Station North Arts District, Baltimore, Maryland,  July 26, 2013

By the following year, 2014, someone had painted large lettering on the billboard about land banking.

photo6

For 2015, the billboard had been painted over with a new thought-provoking slogan that seems appropriate since the city is still in the aftermath of the police killing of Freddie Gray and the riots that immediately followed it, along with the city-wide curfew.

photo26

photo27

The most unexpected discovery I made is located along St. Paul Street. I saw this lush garden through the mesh fencing and some animals. When I initially thought they were small dogs until I saw one of them raise its head and began to move in the way that led me to realize that they were chickens. Actual chickens in Baltimore!

photo28

I realized that I had stumbled upon an urban farm. I know all about urban farms because there’s one located near my town in Edmonston called Eco City Farms. After all the bad news about Baltimore lately (based on both what I read and what I saw in real life), I’m pretty heartened that a group of people are trying to do something positive in the city and that’s a good thing.

photo29

As I walked towards The Wind-Up Space I saw a small construction project currently underway. Maybe the next time I’m in the area this project will be finished and I’ll know exactly what they were building.

photo30

I entered The Wind-Up Space and I saw that the place had a new art exhibit on the walls. I took a photo of this painting because I literally grew up reading Little Golden Books as a child.

photo31

I also saw this interesting looking painting as well.

photo32

Then there is this hanging owl blanket that I really loved. If only I had unlimited space, I would’ve talked to someone at The Wind-Up Space about buying it. Oh well.

photo33

Then there is Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School itself. The model for this evening was a belly dancer named Deviana Fox. Even though belly dancers tend to show less skin than burlesque performers, I still slapped a NSFW on this post because the little skin she showed could still shock someone who thinks that belly dancers need to wear even more clothes so their skin can’t be shown at all. (Yes, there are people in the U.S. who can easily get their panties into bunches over a woman wearing an outfit that shows bare arms or legs.)

Deviana Fox had these large swords that she posed with at times throughout the evening.

picture1

She also posed with this huge hookah throughout the evening as well.

picture2

picture3

picture4

picture5

One of the contests I participated in was centered around the fact that June 8 would’ve been Joan Rivers’ birthday had she not died from complications stemming from what is usually minor throat surgery last year. The contest was to incorporate Joan Rivers doing one of her infamous red carpet interviews of Deviana Fox. I dressed Joan in the same outfit as Deviana while I had her say “She’s wearing MY outfit!!! Copying my style is gauche! What’s your response?” That drawing made it among the finalists but it didn’t win.

picture6

There was one other contest I took part in. Apparently every year whenever there is a Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore anniversary event, something goes wrong. This time one of the people running this event had came down with this cold so she was on stage speaking in this hoarse voice throughout the evening. The contest was to incorporate another disaster that could strike a future Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore anniversary event. I thought of the opening sequence for the British comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus where there are a bunch of animated pictures playing along John Phillips Sousa’s “Liberty Bell March.” Then this giant foot comes down from the heavens and crushes the show’s title. (By the way did you know that the giant foot came from Agnolo Bronzino’s Renaissance-era painting Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time?) This drawing didn’t make it among the finalists this time.

picture7

I drew one last picture of Deviana Fox sitting in a recliner with a hookah before I headed home.

picture8

http://www.nablopomo.com

Advertisements