Arches & Access Unites People & Park

Arches & Access
Arches & Access parade kick off

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 light art

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.

Arches & Access sidewalk lights
Arches & Access Catrin & Catrina parade puppets
Arches & Access Twilighters Marching Band at Rawlings Conservatory
Arches & Access dance party

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.

Arches & Access organizers

Click for more pictures and to read the full story of the Arches & Access project at the TAP Druid Hill website.

Druid Hill Complete Streets

Graham Coreil-Allen headshot

Graham Coreil-Allen headshot

I’m honored and humbled to announce that I have been awarded a 2018 Open Society Institute (OSI) Baltimore Community Fellowship providing me with eighteen months of funding and organizing support as I collaborate with residents on reconnecting our West Baltimore neighborhoods with Druid Hill Park. Through the Druid Hill Complete Streets project I will be working with my neighbors to ensure that a forthcoming Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT) planning effort is as reflective of community voices as possible as we seek to convert the dangerous barrier highways around Druid Hill Park into complete streets safe and accessible for all – especially the approximately 50% of area residents who do not drive. Complete Streets are streets designed and operated to be safe and accessible for all, including pedestrians, transit users, wheelchair riders, and people who rely on bicycles. During the fellowship I will be working with local youth to create traffic calming public art to slow down cars and improve pedestrian safety. Potential ideas include mural-filled crosswalks, artistic planters protecting pedestrians, and creative signs reminding motorists where pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Auchentoroly Terrace walking tour

Auchentoroly Terrace community advocacy walk with city agencies, 2017.

West Baltimore’s historic work class neighborhoods of color have systematically been denied safe access to Druid Hill Park due to dangerous six-to-nine-lane-wide highways constructed over community opposition between the 1940s and the 1960s. Click here to read my story about the history behind the highways cutting off the neighborhoods of Mondawmin, Penn North, and Reservoir Hill from Druid Hill Park. The formerly two-lane, park-front streets of Auchentoroly Terrace and Druid Park Lake Drive were widened into high-speed highways primarily serving suburban commuters at the expense of park access for local residents.

Structurally racist urban planning decisions to build highways around Druid Hill Park make it difficult for the residents to enjoy the park’s public health benefits, including exercise, healthy food, and clean air. The Baltimore City Health Department’s 2017 Neighborhood Health Profiles show that the majority working class, African American communities around the park have some of the city’s highest mortality rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Click here for the Penn North / Reservoir Hill and Greater Mondawmin health reports. Census data also shows that approximately half of residents in the immediate area code of 21217 do not drive. As pedestrians, transit users, wheelchair riders, and people who rely on bicycles, our residents deserve priority access to the park.

Druid Hill Complete Streets map and challenges

Since moving to Auchentoroly Terrace in 2013 I’ve listened to my neighbors talk about and experienced firsthand the need for more crosswalks, narrower roadways, less vehicular traffic, and slower speeds. With no playground in our neighborhood, I all too often witness small children on foot and bike darting across eight lanes of high speed traffic to reach the safe green spaces and play areas of Druid Hill Park. I also see how my retired, car-free neighbors are unable to reach the Druid Hill Farmers Market due to a lack of safe, convenient crosswalks. Most at risk are wheelchair riders who along sections of the park are blocked by non-ADA pathways.

In response to community transportation needs, 7th District Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III convened the Druid Hill Park Stakeholders group in early 2017. The group includes representatives from Mondawmin, Auchentoroly Terrace, and Reservoir Hill; Baltimore City agencies including the Departments of Transportation, Public Works, and Recreation and Parks; as well as non-profits including Bikemore, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Parks & People. We are also reaching out to more local leaders and organizations to bring into the planning and advocacy effort. Thanks to the councilman’s leadership, in February 2018 Baltimore City DOT agreed to conduct a major transportation study to address our community’s concerns. This study will build on two ongoing local initiatives, the Big Jump Baltimore and the Baltimore Greenway Trail Network northwest trail planning effort. As an OSI Community Fellow, I will work full-time with my neighbors to shape this forthcoming transportation plan for rebuilding the dangerous barrier-highways of Druid Park Lake Drive and Auchentoroly Terrace as accessible boulevards that safely connect our most vulnerable residents with Druid Hill Park.

The Druid Hill Complete Streets initiative will support community education, creative urban planning, and traffic calming through public art. We will organize community-led walking tours in which youth, seniors, wheelchair riders, elected officials, and city planners learn from one another while seeking common ground for enacting equitable park access. We will also creatively engage residents in the ongoing DOT planning process through a new website, social media campaign, and activities at places like the Druid Hill Farmers Market to get input from residents who may not be able to make traditional public meetings. Lastly, we will collaborate with youth to create traffic calming public art around Druid Hill Park based on community design workshops in which residents will identify sites for enhancing pedestrian safety and reconnecting with the park. These low-cost interventions will have an immediate positive impact on park connectivity and public health while enabling residents and the public at large to envision the possibilities for complete streets.

The schedule of events and public art production will be determined by the yet-to-be-confirmed DOT study timeline. The Druid Hill Complete Streets project will bring together diverse neighborhood groups to shape the upcoming improvements around the park, empowering communities to claim our public spaces through creative city planning and public art interventions.

2018 Fall New Public Sites Walking Tours

New Public Sites Tours Fall 2018

New Public Sites Tours Fall 2018

This fall New Public Sites is excited to offer one new walking tour in Arlington, Virginia, Wandering the West Pike, and three classics in Baltimore City; Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift, Station North Ave, and Druid Hill Reservoir Interchange! The tours series focuses on the intersecting issues of public space access, transportation equity, creative placemaking, and how residents are shaping places through everyday actions.

All tours are free and open to the public, but spots are limited so be sure to register. The Fall 2018 New Public Sites tours are made possible with support from Arlington Arts and Free Fall Baltimore.

Free Fall Baltimore is presented by BGE, and is a program of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Wandering the West PikeWandering the West Pike

Saturday, October 13, 11:00 am-12:30pm
Free! Click here to register

Rain date: Saturday, October 20, 11:00 am-12:30pm

As one of the most diverse corridors in the country, Arlington, Virginia’s Columbia Pike in many ways represents the future of American culture and urbanism. On Wandering the West Pike walking tour participants will learn about how residents new and old are adapting suburban public spaces along Columbia Pike to meet their urban needs. Join us to explore and reimagine the public spaces of Columbia Pike’s West End. Learn about transportation improvements currently under construction. Imagine future public art projects taking place along the Pike, including  “The Pike” by Donald Lipski. Learn more…

Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift bannerInner Harbor Baltimore Drift

Sunday, October 14, 2-4pm
Free! Click here to register

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a celebrated success of waterfront redevelopment, but its spectacular looks disguise a contested past and challenging present. Join us on Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift to discover the real stories of how powerful people, visionary plans, and community movements are still transforming the former industrial wharf into a premiere public space for all. Learn more…

New Public Sites Station North AvenueStation North Ave

Sunday, October 21, 2-4pm
Free! Click here to register

As a major thoroughfare in Baltimore’s premier arts district, North Avenue in seeing increasing arts, entertainment, and education development. The Station North Avenue tour explores the history of North Avenue as a transportation and cultural corridor, and the ongoing impact of creative placemaking in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Learn more…

New Public Sites Druid Hill Reservoir InterchangeDruid Hill Reservoir Interchange

Sunday, October 28, 2-4pm
Free! Click here to register

Druid Hill Reservoir Interchange will explore the overlapping embankments and sidewalks to nowhere between the Jones Falls Expressway and the Druid Hill Park Reservoir. The tour will focus on the history of the the park and surrounding highways, and details about the current reservoir construction project. Along the way, we will also share about the community movement afoot supporting pedestrian safety improvements around the park. Learn more…

Free Fall BaltimoreBaltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts

Choose Your Own Adventure at Artscape!

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure

Its July in Baltimore, which means its time for the nation’s largest free art festival – Artscape! Building off of the outrageous success of last year’s Dancing Forest of inflatable trees, I’m now teaming up with with fellow Baltimore public artist Becky Borlan on Choose Your Own Adventure! Choose your own Adventure will transform the Charles Street Bridge at Penn Station into a colorful playscape of pedestrian pathways and hanging beach balls. Spray chalk lines will mark a site-based map converging under a forest of beach balls hanging from an open air structure.

Choose Your Own Adventure at Artscape 2018
Charles Street Bridge at Penn Station, Baltimore, MD, 21201
July 20-22, 2018
Friday: 11am-9pm, Saturday: 11am-9pm, Sunday: 11am-7pm
After hours: Friday and Saturday 9pm-11pm
Free and open to the public

Choose your own Adventure takes inspiration from the natural paths taken by street-crossing pedestrians, the Jones Falls and train tracks below, and the joyful experiences of summer-inspired toys. The kinetic environment will feature hundreds of colorful, translucent beach balls and multiple lounging options for festival goers to find respite from the summer sun. Participants who choose to explore will discover curious signs offering choices for adventures beyond. Through tactical urbanism and creative design, the installation will preview possibilities for completely transforming the Charles Street Bridge into an immersive pedestrian environment and playful visionary experience.

Behold the Land of Transportation Innovation

Baltimore Banner Vista

Baltimore Banner Vista

Join us July 4th, 4:30-6:30pm, for the official opening of Art on the Waterfront, a group show of temporary public art featuring the Baltimore Banner Vista. The Baltimore Banner Vista showcases the city’s past and future transportation innovations converging around Middle Branch Park. Participants are invited to sit at a marked spot on the fire pit ledge to see the life-size “postcard” blend into the surrounding landscape. The vista banner evokes the history of transportation manufacturing in Port Covington by depicting Ross Winans’ famous Cigar Ship constructed across the Middle Branch in 1858. The banner also features the proposed Baltimore-Washington Superconducting Maglev Train as well as a speculative anti-gravitational flight craft. The Baltimore Banner Vista inspires wonder and possibility for transportation advancements within this spectacular view of Baltimore City.

Click her for more photos of the installation: https://grahamprojects.com/projects/baltimore-banner-vista

Art on the Waterfront
Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
Opening Reception: July 4, 2018, 4:30-6:30pm, followed by music by DJ ”Derrick Jennings” and Jonathan Gilmore, then fireworks at 9:30pm
On display July 4 – September 28, 2018

Art on the Waterfront features Becky Borlan’s Prisms, which pays homage to Baltimore City’s harbor and history of sailing; Graham Coreil-Allen’s Baltimore Banner Vista, which highlights the city’s past and future transportation innovations; Ashley Kidner’s Pollinator Hexagon, which draws attention to the importance of pollinator plants; and Matthias Neumann’s Basics #24, which explores an abstracted notion of form, space and utility in public sculpture.

Art on the Waterfront is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and supported by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks, South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Casino Local Development Council.

Sun Stomp opens at Light City

Sun Stomp projection and bleachers

Sun Stomp projection and bleachers

Experience the power and beauty of the sun through Sun Stomp! Sun Stomp is a solar powered LED display and sun-inspired, interactive audio-visual environment at Baltimore’s third annual Light City festival. The massive public art project is a collaboration between public artist Graham Coreil-Allen, video artist Mark Brown, and solar engineer Matt Weaver.

Sun Stomp will be awaiting your foot-powered activation each evening, April 14–21, in the gateway to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, McKeldin Square. The installation is Stop 24 on the Light Art Walk, on the southside of Pratt Street between Light and Calvert Streets.

What: Sun Stomp, a solar powered LED display and sun-inspired, interactive audio-visual environment at Light City
When: April 14-21, 2018, 7pm-12am weekends, 7pm-11pm week nights
Where: Light City stop #24, McKeldin Square
101 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
Free. More info: http://sunstomp.art & https://lightcity.org
Audio Tour: 410-934-7821 enter 8#

Sun Stomp features a 34’ tall scaffolding sculpture with an interactive projection on one side and an array of sixteen, 290 watt solar panels on the other. Electrical Energy is collected during the day and stored as chemical energy in a battery bank in our Power Shed, which provides electricity to the colorful array of LED neon lights illuminating the structure after dark. Participants are invited to stomp on the bleacher footboards to trigger sun-inspired projected visuals, increase the LED brightness, and amplify sounds of the Sun sourced from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Solar and Storage Statistics:

  • Sun Stomp features 527 feet of LED lighting.
  • All 16 solar panels provide 4,640 Watts per sun hour or 23,200 Watts per day in April.
  • The average home in Baltimore uses 7,546 kilowatts per year; the same amount of electricity produced by these 16 solar panels and stored by the Battery Bank.
  • The 16 solar panels installed on a home would save $1,052 annually in electricity charges.
  • During Light City the Sun Stomp solar panels will prevent 200 pounds of CO2 emissions from local electricity generation.

Follow Sun Stomp updates and tag your photos #SunStomp & #LightCity2018
Sun Stomp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunstomp
Sun Stomp Twitter: @sunstomp24 https://twitter.com/sunstomp24
Sun Stomp Instagram @sunstomp https://www.instagram.com/sunstomp

Sun Stomp solar panel neon LED perspective

Sun Stomp LED-lit bleachers

Sun Stomp solar panel neon LED

Sun Stomp daytime solar panels

Sun Stomp Power Shed interior

Sun Stomp to Premiere at Light City!

Sun Stomp logo

Sun Stomp logo

Sun Stomp perspective nighttime southwest

Graham Projects is excited to announce Sun Stomp, a solar powered light display and interactive audio-visual environment that will take place in McKeldin Square during Baltimore’s Light City festival, April 14-21, 2018. Sun Stomp is a collaborative production of public artist Graham Coreil-Allen, video artist and DJ Mark Brown, and renewable energy engineer Matt Weaver.

What: Sun Stomp, a solar powered LED display and sun-inspired, interactive audio-visual environment at Light City Baltimore.
When: April 14-21, 2018
Where: Light City, McKeldin Square
101 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
More info: http://sunstomp.art

Premiering at the 2018 Light City Baltimore festival, Sun Stomp will be a solar powered, LED-lit framework supporting a participatory, sun-inspired video projection and soundscape. The monumental scaffolding structure will feature an interactive projection on one side and a sloped bank of solar panels on the other. Energy collected during the day will power a three-story, colorful array of LED lights illuminating the open grid sculpture after dark. Participants will trigger projected visuals and amplified sounds by touching and sitting on contact-microphoned viewing bleachers. Sun Stomp’s solar powered LED display and interactive audio-visual environment will visually and experientially demonstrate the awesome and beautiful power of the sun.

Sun Stomp perspective daytime northwest

The Baltimore-based Sun Stomp Collective brings expertise in solar energy, interactive media, and participatory environments. Matthew Weaver has over a decade of experience in renewable energy engineering, including hydrogen and solar; and grassroots organizing around social justice and sustainability. Mark Brown is a video artist, DJ, curator, and AV expert at the Peabody Conservatory. His video work embraces the Internet as both gallery and medium, creating new works from the cracks, glitches, and fall-out of digital realities. Graham Coreil-Allen is a public artist and organizer making cities more inclusive and livable through public art, radical walking tours, and civic engagement.

#SunStomp | #LightCity2018

Sun Stomp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunstomp
Sun Stomp Twitter: @sunstomp24 https://twitter.com/sunstomp24
Sun Stomp Instagram @sunstomp https://www.instagram.com/sunstomp

 

Creating Places with People: 2017 Year in Review

171014 Mondawmin Crossings Reisterstown Rd

171014 Mondawmin Crossings Reisterstown Rd

2017 New Public Sites infographicAs we close out 2017 I’m thankful for the numerous neighbors, leaders, artists, and organizations I have had the honor of working with to Make Place Happen in Baltimore and beyond. From championing pedestrian accessibility around Druid Hill Park, to exploring the robust and emerging civic spaces and public art of Arlington County, to colorfully reconfiguring concrete paving for playful action, place is truly what we made of it. Public space is not just constructed out of tactile materials like pavement, landscaping, and benches, but also the intangible – knowledge, organizing, and programming. Through New Public Sites walking tours we poetically re-experienced everyday public spaces while learning from community leaders and civil servants how to affect change at the block level. Artscape showed that streets and bridges don’t have to be just for cars, but can also be spaces for ecstatic pedestrian interactions. Workshops like the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Visioning Home created spaces for inclusively mapping out creative futures for the city. I am inspired by my collaborators who believe that we can expand such temporary zones of autonomy into lasting places of accessibility, well-being, joy, and freedom.

Read More…

Periscope Public Art for Central Ave

Periscope site perspective SE final

Periscope site perspective SE final

FGLA’s Interactive Periscope Public Art for Central Avenue approved by Baltimore City

The Baltimore City Public Art Commission approved FGLA’s public art concept for an interactive Periscope tower and plaza at the intersection of Central Avenue and Pratt Street. This work is the percent-for-art commission part of the Central Avenue streetscape project. The Periscope’s angled mirrors will make it possible for people walking by to see elevated views of the neighborhood. Its color, form, and integrated plaza are inspired by local waterways, including City Springs, Harford Run, and the Patapsco River. The 25’ tall Periscope will be constructed of cast-in-place concrete, colored plexiglass supported by a welded frame, and surrounded by a plaza of integral color concrete. Inscribed on the obelisk pedestal will be the names of the three local water bodies that makeup the watershed where the Periscope stands.

The triangle crossing at Pratt Street offers a unique opportunity for a truly public, plaza-like place along Central Avenue. The angled intersection provides panoramic views of Baltimore’s diverse pasts and futures. From this vantage one can see historical rowhomes, public housing in transition, public art, and ongoing development up and down Central Avenue. The view facing east frames City Springs school, which takes its name from a spring that once existed where its athletic field now lays. Synthesizing these views, Periscope will stand as an obelisk-like monument to water in place and pedestrian oversight. Inverting the hierarchy of Baltimore’s omnipresent blue surveillance lights, the tower will empower pedestrians with elevated views of their surroundings while colorfully evoking the water cycle of precipitation, collection, and flow.

Periscope will be fabricated and installed in 2019.

Falon Graham Land Art (FGLA) is the public art team of Falon Mihalic and Graham Coreil-Allen.

Follow our public art process on instagram and twitter: @falonland @grahamprojects #publicart4centralave #fgla

Periscope site perspective SE night

Periscope nighttime view facing southeast.

Periscope streetview with mirror reflection

Periscope street view perspective featuring periscopic mirrors reflecting a nearby building.

Periscope site plan

Periscope plan feature blue integral color concrete plaza.

Dancing Forest is Live at Artscape!

Dancing Forest

Dancing Forest

Dancing Forest preview

[UPDATE: Click here to see the full documentation photos!]

Come down to the Artscape Charles Street Trail this weekend, July 21-23, to explore Dancing Forest, a kinetic environment of inflatable trees emblazoned with trail markers identifying Baltimore’s many classic places, features, and customs. Participants are encouraged to walk among and explore the the animated trees as they undulate in the sky. Up close, one will find an array of urban trail symbols, such as benches, snowballs, bikers, and buildings. Internal LED illumination of the sculptures allows nighttime exploration. Combining spectacular movement with urban wayfinding symbols, Dancing Forest creates an exciting, playful environment meant to inspire participants continue exploring Baltimore’s many intriguing places.

The Charles Street Trail is located on Charles Street between Penn Station and Lanvale Street.

Click here to learn more about Dancing Forest and its trail markers. Post your pictures to social media using the hashtag #DancingForest @grahamprojects for likes and retweets!