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Lots of ARTscape

Tube ShowThe rain held off and the beer was cold (I love it when a city provides free beer) for the opening of this year's Artscape Festival exhibits. The 24th year! Man, I’m getting on: I moved to Baltimore the year this began.

I previously reviewed Artscape at the BMA/Observation Deck, currated by Gary Simmons. In it I mentioned the need for the BMA to expand its programs to include exhibits of art by artists of the region. Today's Baltimore Sun editorial page is calling for just that. You heard it here first! Get off your horse and just do it, BMA, in this lifetime.

The remainder of the Artscape shows are spread throughout the city. That’s good, but it means a lot of traveling and I’m not so sure many will take the time to visit all the venues.

Last night the the traditionally used galleries of the Maryland Institute, the median along Mt. Royal Avenue and nearby Area 405, were the scene of the first of a series of staggered openings. The Meyerhoff Gallery is showing part 2 of Gary Simmons curating with selected works from the area. Of note is a piece by Dawn Gavin, meticulous in detail but light and airy as a whole, entitled Atlas and Andrew Moon Wilson's individually packaged drawings, available for $5 each. It’s a deal to be had.

In the Pinkard Gallery is Alphabet: An Exhibition of Hand-Drawn Lettering and Experimental Typography, curated by Post Typography. The title alone requires some typing, and the exhibit has 48 artists/designers in it. It’s a type lover's feast. One piece appears to be a version of iPod Kama sutra. Alphabet will travel to Raleigh, N.C., Milwaukee, La., and Philly.

The Misses and I were driving through the Eastern Shore of Maryland recently and noticed several roadside produce stands using electric fan inflated figures of rip-stop nylon dancing in the wind. It’s a real eye grabber. We thought it would have some potential as an art project. I give you The Tube Show.

MediumThe outdoor sculpture show, curated by sculptor Rodney Carroll, takes to the median on Mt. Royal Ave. Of note here is Tim Scolfield’s life-size model of a flying machine. Mothership is an experiment in portable public sculpture. Celeste Toogood’s entry is entitled Branch Ball.

If you're familiar with the fantastical website of The Wooster Collective, you’ll get a sense of what the inspiration for the Quickmart installation is about, curated by Chris Stain and Billy Mode. They will be selling T-shirts, magazines, fast food, and anything at all made by artists known for their street works around the country. I bought a nice handmade book entitled Birdshit: A True Story, by Chris Stain. Some very cool T-shirts are available, too.

The circle theme of Dawn Gavin is also evident at Area 405 in John Ruppert’s 9,000 pounds of crushed marble called Split Circle and in another piece by Carin Rodenborn called Can't Come Clean. Fellow blogger JT Kirkland has three four of his drilled wood creations that fit well in this old warehouse environment: here's one. He has a good post on the show, with better pictures. Must not have had much beer.

I’ll need a nap now to keep up with the rest of the shows. Artscape runs July 22nd through the 24th.

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