Explore Washington D.C.

Off the Walls in Baltimore

Vacant buildings, quirky charm and a love of public art make Baltimore a ”canvas” primed for street art—some legal and some not. With the idea that thoughtful art beautifies buildings and provokes consideration of urban landscapes, 23-year-old artist Gaia pioneered Open Walls Baltimore, a project to bring world-class murals to his home of Station North. A street artist commissioned for murals across the U.S., Europe and Asia, Gaia realized the neighborhood’s potential and worked with its board and investors to procure funding, including a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He then invited 24 of his favorite street artists from as far as Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Kiev to claim a wall. A year later, 23 vibrant murals adorn buildings (some occupied) and public spaces. Consider Gaia’s own wide-eyed dove pictured here (1 W. North Ave.), Overunder’s tribute to late local activist Dennis Livingston (329 E. Lafayette St.) and Maya Hayuk’s psychedelic patterns detailed on the cover of our current print issue (1715 N. Charles St.).