Executive Director Letter
July 31, 2012
Continuing on last week’s theme of exploring ways we experience art, let’s talk about the Olympics. Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony extravaganza unselfconsciously celebrated Great Britain’s history through film, literature, music, and art (ok, ok and the national health system). Throughout the years, host countries choose their iconic arts as a way to tell their national stories. (Who can forget the drummers in Beijing?)
But how do viewers experience these moments—as pure spectacle and entertainment? The art and culture certainly aren’t lost, but they are used subversively as a framework for the real celebration, in this case of sports.
And that usage of the arts is pretty commonplace these days. Our cultural identities are employed for totally unrelated marketing purposes. Here at home, Visit Baltimore convenes the artistic and attraction community to develop a cultural tourism strategic plan and thinks seriously about how important culture is to experiencing the City. All of us should be aware of this strategy and how it is being implemented. And rather than criticize, we should seize it as an opportunity to actively advocate on behalf of our artistic and cultural treasures.
The intersection between art and technology was celebrated last weekend at The Walters Art Museum’s Art Bytes “hackathon.” Seven groups of determined tech geniuses worked with the Walters’ staff to crack open the collection as part of its Public Properties exhibit.
Working throughout the weekend, these teams created mobile application models that ran the gamut from enabling the ability to experience an object as it would have appeared when first created, to generating contests and incentives for kids to experience the museum, to providing historic and contextualization for objects, to building a relationship between visitors. As possibly the least tech savvy person in the room, it was exciting to see ways in which the teams related to the art, and in some cases connected with its emotional content. It was a joy to see the results, but also to hear how participants were experiencing the collection—in some cases for the very first time. Congratulations to Scott Burkholder and the organizers of the event as well as my very esteemed colleagues and fellow judges, Mario Armstrong, Sheri Parks, Sid Meier, Greg Cangialosi and Murray Taylor.
The GBCA Happy Hour returns on Monday, August 6 from 5-7:00pm at the Windup Space (12 North Charles Street). Join us to view and learn more about the Station North Salon Show that celebrates the District’s 10th Anniversary. You can find additional details below. RSVP to Jennifer Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there.
GBCA Happy Hour Monday Aug 6th 5-7pm at Windup Space (12 W. North Avenue)
Station North is celebrating its 10th anniversary and as part of the celebration, it’s hosting a district-wide salon show, open to all visual artists from the Baltimore region from Friday August 3rd to Friday August 31st. Participating venues include the Windup Space, the Charles Theater, Joe Squared, Liam Flynn’s Ale House, and Load of Fun. Their walls will be packed with artwork from the massive response to Station North’s call for entries/drop-off this past weekend.
Come out to Windup Space for the GBCA Happy Hour, have a drink, and get a look at what Baltimore’s creative community has to offer!