In 2021, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) was awarded a $50,000 Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery Grant to help adapt streets in service of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).
Graham Projects was an integral part of the BCDOT Lake 2 Lake Project application alongside fellow community partners Bikemore and Black People Ride Bikes. The grant funded community engagement activities for traffic calming, mobile bike shop pop-ups, group bike rides, and the pavement art installation at 33rd Street and Hillen Road.
This project leveraged existing BCDOT plans for traffic calming at the main intersection gateway to Lake Montebello at 33rd Street and Hillen Road as well as maintenance and repairs to The Big Jump shared-use path leading to Druid Hill Park. Graham Projects provided project branding design, facilitated community engagement, and solicited community-based design inspiration through COVID-19-safe pop-up drawing events and via COLORoW, our custom online public art drawing tool. Based on the public conversations and drawings submitted by residents, Graham Projects developed design proposals that over 500 residents voted on in selecting the final work of traffic calming public art.
Community partner organizations, Bikemore and Black People Ride hosted a community event in November 2021 celebrating the project and unveiling the traffic calming plan by BCDOT and the community inspired pavement art design by Graham Projects named Rayobello. Local residents inspired the design by sharing their cherished experiences witnessing colorful sunrises and sunsets as seen from the lake.
Graham Projects is growing rapidly – and thanks to two new hires, we will be serving even more communities in making place happen.
Melvin Jadulang (he/him) is the Director of Operations and Engagement for Graham Projects. Melvin has worked in organizational management for advocacy groups and nonprofits, and has a background in real estate and entrepreneurship. Born and raised in Hawaii, Melvin relocated to Baltimore when his husband, Randall, got assigned to Fort Meade.
Zoe Roane-Hopkins (she/her) is an Associate Placemaker and Project Designer who works closely with Graham on design development and proposals. Zoe studied landscape architecture at Penn State, then received her MA in Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art & Design.
We asked them a few questions about their personal mission, proudest achievements, their work at Graham Projects, and what placemaking/public art projects they’d love to work on.
What’s your guiding principle for everything you work on?
Melvin: Meet people where they are at and allow them to be heard. Make sure they know they are valued, and that happens when you follow through: let people know what’s going on with a project and how they can help.
Zoe: Be kind to people and be kind to the earth. I do very thoughtful design and I like to listen – listening to people, the planet, and translate it into something that’s colorful, dynamic and interesting. I like to shift perspective through all my designs.
What’s one of your proudest achievements?
Melvin: In 2019, I worked with my East Baltimore Midway neighborhood to convert four vacant lots into a community green space. The Boone Street Commons has different elements to engage the community: garden, park, and a picnic area/event space.
Zoe: Winning an award for my Space Frame design in the Design for Distancing competition last year. A friend told me to submit – I pulled my design together in two days and submitted right at the deadline. After my design was posted on Instagram, local landscape architecture firm EnviroCollab reached out to me about installing the Space Frame at a BelAir-Edison neighborhood event.
What will you be doing with Graham Projects?
Zoe: I split my time between EnviroCollab and Graham Projects, so every day is a little different. I recently submitted a design proposal for pavement art, and at our Pigtown pop-up event, I connected with community members on traffic calming and bumpout pavement art. I created coloring pages for people to use to give us their ideas. The community was enthusiastic – I liked talking with them and listening to their ideas.
Melvin: As the director of operations and engagement, I facilitate the processes, whether it’s with the community that’s invited us, or the actual project from start to finish. Part of my role involves keeping us true to the Graham Projects philosophy of making place happen and making sure the community is represented in the work we’re doing with them.
What are some of your dream projects? Is there a concept that you’d love to execute in collaboration with Graham Projects?
Melvin: I want to create opportunities so that a neighborhood can experience high quality placemaking and public art on any budget. We’re shifting the narrative to say that placemaking & public art can exist anywhere, and that means making it accessible for all. I’m also interested in developing a kit or service for neighborhoods that encourages and supports engagement in the placemaking process.
Zoe: I’d love to do a cross collaboration between EnviroCollab and Graham Projects that pulls together street art and landscaping architecture components.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Zoe: I play ukulele, guitar, and piano – I like to write songs & make animations to accompany them. I’m trying to learn the banjo, too. I also enjoy hiking and camping, and once the weather cools down I’ll go backpacking with my boyfriend. I really like to cook and currently I’m working through recipes in a dim sum cookbook I got for Christmas.
Melvin: I like taking bike rides through Baltimore. Finding cool new restaurants and cafes and visiting breweries & pubs are also fun. I like building furniture, like a bench or table. And of course gardening!
If you would like to collaborate with Graham Projects on improving a public space in your neighborhood, connect with us here!
2020 proved to be an unprecedented year of challenges and innovations for Graham Projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic several of our public art and civic engagement projects were either cancelled or significantly delayed. Remaining projects were significantly slowed by the need to take precautionary measures in conducting community engagement and installation of our works. From these challenges arose new opportunities for remote creative collaboration and physically distancing activations of public space. We are proud and appreciative of having so many amazing partners who continue to help us improve cities through public art and civic engagement. Below are a few highlights of our work this year and the folks who made it all possible.
In May we responded to the limitations of in-person engagement posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with Tobey Albright and Mollie Edgar of Hour Studio to create the online placemaking toolkit, Make Place Happen. The Make Place Happen website offers resources for “Do-it-Yourself Urbanism” and/or participating with Graham Projects’ current placemaking efforts. The most exciting feature is COLORoW, a coloring book-like web app for drawing your own artistic crosswalk or pavement mural.
Also in May, we responded to Neighborhood Design Center’s “Design for Distancing” call for ideas to help businesses along Baltimore’s main streets safely reopen using spatial distancing outdoor public space enhancements. The Graham Projects Curblet Commons design kit transforms an on-street parking lane into an accessible, safe, and inviting pedestrian space including creative ADA curb ramps, modular barriers, and physical distancing stencils. Out of over 160 submissions, the Curblet Commons open source accessibility designs were one of ten selected for the Design For Distancing Guidebook. This free guidebook provides COVID-19 safe placemaking inspiration for businesses, cities, and people worldwide on how to safely reopen and improve their own public spaces. Click here to download the free Design for Distancing Guidebook.
Soon after seeing our designs accepted into the Design for Distancing guidebook, we partnered with Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street, Property Consulting, Inc., LANNINGSMITH, and Annie Howe Papercuts to secure a large design-build commission transforming three blocks of Harford Road into a place for safe pedestrian gathering and neighborhood shopping. Our Curbside Commons Design for Distancing project converted a parking lane into a public space for community, shopping, services, and culinary encounters along Hamilton-Lauraville’s main street, Harford Road. Design for Distancing is a tactical urban design initiative of the Baltimore Development Corporation and Neighborhood Design Center intended to help small businesses in Baltimore reopen without compromising public health. We met with the adjacent small businesses to understand their needs to stay open while maintaining physical distancing and other COVID-19 precautions. In response we delivered outdoor seating, distancing markers, event space, pedestrian and wheelchair accessibility, public art, signage, bicycle parking, and artful wayfinding.
After a marathon of fall install, we managed to find a few more warm enough days to fit in one last exciting project – the Oak Wisdom art crosswalks in Colling Square. During pre-COVID community engagement, we learned that the Collington Square community of East Baltimore holds a 200+ year old Swamp White Oak tree as its symbol. Working with resident input, we designed the “Oak Wisdom” traffic calming art crosswalks and Collington Square Neighborhood Association street pole banners are inspired by looking up through those sanctuary leaves. The street pole banners elevate neighborhood identity by showcasing a positive symbol for the area – the beloved centuries-old tree that stands magnificently atop the hill in their local park. The art crosswalks and “bump outs” provide a welcome gateway to Collington Square while slowing down aggressive car traffic, improving street-crossing safety for its residents who rely on walking to get to school and work.
I’m excited to share that my New Public Sites project has once again been featured by the producers of hit radio show 99 Percent Invisible. Back in 2012 99pi senior producer Sam Greenspan and host Roman Mars featured this work in episode #60, Names vs The Nothing. Eight years later I’m honored to have our New Public Ideas featured in The 99 Percent Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design. If you’ve enjoyed New Public Sites concepts, walks, videos, and installations, then you will love this collection of stories and illustrations about the invisible design behind cities. You will find New Public Sites featured on pages 278-279, under “Accessible Voids: Nameless Places”. Roman Mars writes that the, “swirling spaces trapped between highways might never be parks or places for civic rallies, but perhaps they have some uses yet to be imagined by someone who sees them as something more than interstitial voids.” Order your copy through a local bookstore today! There are also a limited number of signed copies in stock at Barnes & Noble as well as participating local bookstores!
Graham Projects is excited to announce that out of over 160 submissions, we are one of ten teams selected by the Neighborhood Design Center to contribute work to the forthcoming Design For Distancing Guidebook. The free Guidebook will provide COVID-19 safe placemaking inspiration for businesses, cities, and people worldwide on how to safely reopen and improve their own public spaces. Our Curblet Commons design kit transforms an on-street parking lane into an accessible, safe, and inviting pedestrian space.
These concepts will be built in Baltimore and shared with others around the world to borrow from in order to create their own practical solutions.
~Jennifer Goold, Executive Director of the Baltimore Neighborhood Design Center
Curblet Commons converts a parking lane into a public space for community, shopping, services, and culinary encounters.
The Rampin’ Over ADA curb ramps provide adjustable height mobility access midblock.
The Wingin’ It hinged partitions may be set at different angles to appropriately frame spatial distance. Precast planters anchor the separators, provide beautification, and serve as protective barriers for curb-lyfe enthusiasts.
From the Gridn’ Safe modular stencils participants take visual and tactile cues for maintaining their publicly healthy personal space. The customizable footprints and 6’ by 6’ grid system are applied using spray paint and epoxy paint enhanced with pea gravel to be foot-felt by those visually impaired.
City-installed traffic bump-outs define the space with line striping, flex-posts, and bike racks. Artful, high-contrast painted designs visually unifying the Curblet Commons while demarking the former site of publicly subsidized car storage as a premiere safe space for pedestrian conviviality and commerce.
While we may be under an extended stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham Projects is keeping busy with public art in the service of people and places. Springtime is usually when we are deep in community engagement and designing projects for installation in the summer and fall. Like many organizations, we’ve had to carefully retool our work while practicing social distancing.
In lieu of public meetings we’ve been working the phones, online hangouts, video chats, and zooms. COVID won’t stop our creative action, so today we are proud to announce our new online placemaking toolkit, Make Place Happen. Use the resources at Make Place Happen for “Do-it-Yourself Urbanism” and/or participating with our current placemaking projects!
Our new DIY Urbanism website was co-designed and built by the amazing artist-designers Tobey Albright and Mollie Edgar of Hour Studio. They took our ideas and colors, skillfully designed the website and brand, and helped us realize the most exciting part of Make Place Happen: the COLORoW online public art design tool. COLORoW is short for “COLOring the Right of Way”. It is a coloring book-like web app for drawing your own artistic crosswalk or pavement mural.
Residents are invited to use COLORoW to share their ideas with us for specific projects in their neighborhood. Participants can draw what they would like to see in their public space, download the drawing, and then share it with us along with text and other visual inspiration via an embedded upload form.
Using everyone’s drawings as inspiration we will develop our always exciting array of design options. Like with our face-to-face workshops, but online, Graham Projects will then shareback the community-based artwork for resident feedback and selection.
Check out the new Make Place Happen website, and stay tuned for added features to come; including a store for creative street stencils, a guide for making pavement art, and a local “how to” for kid-friendly play streets.
Showcasing the cherished connections between Druid Hill Park and surrounding neighborhoods, the Arches & Access project illuminated and activated the historic Druid Hill Park Gate at Madison Avenue, Druid Hill Park, and the Rawlings Conservatory with colorful lights, a community parade, and a public party. On the evening of November 3rd, 2019, over three hundred residents, artists, and performers transformed Madison Avenue at Druid Park Lake Drive into a spectacular, roving block party. Neighbors collectively created a place to march, dance, and perform in celebration of our West Baltimore communities united in green space and creating safe streets for people.
Arches & Access was a Neighborhood Lights Project presented as part of the Brilliant Baltimore / Light City festival of light and literature. The event was led by Reservoir Hill artist Jessy DeSantis, Reservoir Hill advocate Courtney Bettle, and Auchentoroly Terrace public artist Graham Coreil-Allen with major support from the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, a grant from Baltimore Heritage, and volunteers from Beth Am Synagogue’s IFO organization. The Reservoir Hill mothers Bettle and DeSantis took inspiration from DeSantis’ colorful painting of the Arches when they came up with the idea of creating a light art project in early 2019. Later the two reached out to Coreil-Allen of Graham Projects to help realize the light art. Collectively they expanded the vision to include solar powered lights leading into the park, activated by a joyful community parade showing what life could be like without highways hindering pedestrian access to Druid Hill Park.
Graham Projects is honored to have been apart of creating Arches & Access and look forward to working again with our community partners on making this light art and parade an annual success.
Graham Projects is excited to be collaborating with Reservoir Hill artists and organizers Jessy DeSantis, Courtney Bettle, and Kate Jennings on Arches & Access. Showcasing the cherished connections between the Reservoir Hill and Druid Hill Park, Arches & Access project will illuminate and activate the landmark Druid Hill Park Gate at Madison Avenue with colorful lights, a community parade, and public walking tour. The Neighborhood Lights Project is presented as part of the Brilliant Baltimore festival of light and literature.
Arches & Access Reservoir Hill Neighborhood Lights Parade
Reservoir Hill is hosting a family-friendly light parade in conjunction with Brilliant Baltimore’s Neighborhood Lights program. Come celebrate the community connections between our park and surrounding neighborhoods! All are invited to activate the Arches & Access light art with a community parade on Sunday, November 3rd, 5:30-9pm. The family-friendly walk will feature youth-made lanterns and marching band. Come ready to impress with glow sticks, lights, and lanterns as we parade through the arches into Druid Hill Park following an illuminated pathway ending at a colorfully lit Rawlings Conservatory. There neighbors will mingle while enjoying light refreshments, including hot cocoa, music, a photo booth, and food truck.
Tour is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. Dress in warm clothes, bring a flashlight, wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk or roll 1.5 miles.
The Arches & Access Evening Wander will explore monuments to community connectivity and a riptide of traffic priorities between the Druid Hill Park Gate and the Jones Falls Expressway. The 90 minute tour will focus on the history of the park, the challenging impacts of surrounding highways on local neighborhoods, engineering behind the ongoing reservoir construction, and efforts to better TAP Druid Hill through participatory transportation planning.
I’m honored and excited to showing and performing alongside several amazing artists as part of the Hidden Paths walking art show opening at Cardinal Space this Saturday, September 7th, 5-8pm. Todd Shalom will lead the first walk starting at 3:30pm. That afternoon I will be in the process of collecting materials via a durational wheel barrow wander from the Graham Projects HQ at The Countdown down to the gallery on North Avenue. I will use these Shards of Site to construct a cairn, live during the opening. Closing out the show I will lead a New Public Sites / TAP Druid Hill walking tour on Friday, November 8, 7-9pm meeting at the Druid Hill Madison Avenue Gate. More on that later. For now join us at the opening this Saturday! Detail below. – Graham
Hidden Paths:An Exhibition About Walking As Art
Sept. 7–Nov. 8, 2019
Artists Miguel Braceli, Susie Brandt, Graham Coreil-Allen, J$Fur, Malcolm Peacock, Ada Pinkston, Todd Shalom
Baltimore gallery Cardinal’s final exhibition of the year will take place mostly outside of its Bolton Hill walls.Hidden Paths: An Exhibition About Walking As Art from Sept. 7 to Nov. 8 will include five participatory artist-led walks around Baltimore in addition to a traditional gallery component.
The exhibition engages seven artists, mostly based or recently based in Baltimore, five of whom will lead high-concept tours of the city. Each tour is meant to make participants see their city in a new way.
“I noticed how rich Baltimore’s scene is in terms of performance art, and I started seeing artists taking walks and having that being central to the piece or being the work itself,” said Alexander Jarman, Cardinal co-founder and Hidden Paths curator. “These art works happen in real-time out in the world. Hidden Paths challenges what is an exhibition. Artists are creating scenarios, but no one is sure what will happen during the experience. We’re inviting people to go on these artist-led walks and learn from artists how to look at their neighborhoods in a different way and learn something new, whether it’s personal, political or geographical. Some people will be walking down streets they’ve never walked down before.”
To open the exhibition on Sept. 7, Todd Shalom, founder of New York City walking-as-art festival Elastic City, will lead an improvised tour at 3:30 p.m. of the Bolton Hill neighborhood surrounding Cardinal, when he will share tactics and strategies for how to show up and occupy a place and create walking art. The walk begins and ends at Cardinal, where there will be an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.
On Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. Rubys grant recipient Ada Pinkston will lead a Post-Colonial Historical Monuments Tour and guide participants to former confederate monuments in Baltimore, culminating in a workshop at the Enoch Pratt Library.
Closing the exhibition on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. is a 90-minute tour, Arches & Access Evening Wander by Graham Coreil-Allen, who will lead participants through Druid Hill Park and the surrounding community, with a focus on the history of the park, the challenging impacts of surrounding highways on local neighborhoods and engineering behind the ongoing reservoir construction. The walk is part of Coreil-Allen’s OSI-Baltimore Community Fellowship and in partnership with The Access Project for Druid Hill Park (TAP Druid Hill).
Malcolm Peacock and J$Fur will also lead walks, and Miguel Braceli and Susie Brandt will host artist talks of their perambulatory art projects. A gallery installation of ephemera and visual material from the artists will be on view at Cardinal’s gallery space from Sept. 7 to Oct. 5, including a sound installation of ambient noises from around Baltimore by J$Fur, a zine of Pinkston’s Confederate statue project, and more.
For more information on the walks and exhibition, visit www.cardinalspace.com. Gallery hours are Wednesday 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday 12-4 p.m.
Key Dates:Sept. 7-Oct. 5: Gallery Installation Gallery hours are Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12-4 p.m.
Sept. 7: Opening Tour and Reception Improvised round-trip tour by Todd Shalom at 3:30-5 p.m. Meet at Cardinal. Opening reception 5:30-8pm.
Sept. 14: Artist Talks by Miguel Braceli and Susie Brandt at 2 p.m. at Cardinal
Sept. 21: Artist-Led Walk by J$Fur at 2 p.m. Meet at Cardinal.
Oct. 5: Artist-Led Walk by Malcolm Peacock, TBD
Oct. 19: Post-Colonial Historical Monuments TourArtist-Led Walk by Ada Pinkston at 2 p.m. at Bolton Hill confederate monument (corner of Mosher St. and W. Mt. Royal Ave.)
Nov. 8: Arches & Access Evening Wander Artist-Led Walk by Graham Coreil-Allen at 7 p.m. at Druid Hill Madison Avenue Gates
The Graham Projects’ walking tour program New Public Sites is excited to offer four tours this spring in Baltimore City and Arlington, VA. Baltimore City tours are offered in partnership with Baltimore Heritage. Arlington tours are offered as part of the Arlington Public Art and Rosslyn BID programming. Check back for updates on registering for the tours in Arlington.
Originally named Auchentorolie after the ancestral estate of the area’s first owner, George Buchanan, today’s Auchentoroly Terrace neighborhood is made up of wonderful houses built at the height of the Victorian era. It is also at the forefront of change. The drinking water reservoir in neighboring Druid Hill Park is undergoing a dramatic shift and neighborhood leaders are working with city officials to improve the park’s accessibility by transforming its encircling highways into complete streets.
Join local resident and public artist Graham Coreil-Allen, a community leader working on neighborhood and park planning, on a walking tour to learn about the history of Auchentoroly Terrace and Druid Hill Park, as well as the direction they both are heading in the near future. Local leaders and heritage advocates Ms. Barbara Anderson-Dandy, Ms. Sandra Almond Cooper and Ms. Donna Cypress will also speak about the neighborhood’s significant African American history.
West Columbia Pike
Saturday, May 11 (rain date Saturday, May 25) • 11 am – 1 pm
Join one of Arlington County’s Public Artists in Residence, Graham Coreil-Allen, for a free Rosslyn Public Art Walking Tour. During this 90 minute tour, participants will discover the history, design, and purpose of Rosslyn’s celebrated public art collection. Taking advantage of Rosslyn’s pedestrian-friendly character, the tour will also explore a robust network of spectacular, hidden, and new public spaces. Throughout the tours Coreil-Allen will create opportunities for playful interaction and inclusive discussion. Highlights include Liquid Pixels, Cupid’s Garden, the new Rosslyn Parklet and Street Furniture, and Dark Star Park.
The 2019 Rosslyn Public Art Walking Tours are presented by Rosslyn BID.
Escape the sensory overload of the big city and spend a quiet, serene June morning exploring the nooks and crannies of beautiful Druid Hill Park with amateur historian Ralph Brown and public artist and park neighbor Graham Coreil-Allen. Find out why a “Know Nothing” party mayor in the late 1850’s left this magnificent gift to Baltimore. Discover the hidden zen garden of Druid Hill Park and meet its creator. Explore Baltimore’s history of segregation through testimonials present in the park today. Learn how Druid Lake has provided drinking water for nearly 150 years and behold the sublime piles of dirt that preview its recreational future. See how the park has changed in its appearance since it was established back in 1860 and what the hopes are for improved resident access going forward. If you can ride a bike you can do this ride since it will be on mostly flat dedicated, safe bike trails