Thursday, March 11, 2010
I'm really glad Sarah Dougherty came to the class to speak about the axis alley project. I had seen some of the pieces and Sarah's fighting rats fence while walking around my neighborhood, but I didn't know the story behind them. I'd also heard a little about the axis alley project, but didn't know what the grand scope of it was. I was amazed to hear Sarah's vision for reclaiming the alley in order to make a path from the BMA to the station north arts district. Although this project is still pretty heavily focused on artist culture in Baltimore, it is also intended to benefit the rest of the community in station north by creating an environment friendly to traffic other than cars. I think this is one of the few projects that actually benefits the community and culture in station north outside of the artist culture. Most of the projects we've heard about so far have seemed completely focused on improving the area for commercial purposes by bringing in outside culture. Sarah, on the other hand, seemed to be genuinely intent on having a project that improved safety and provided resources for people in the neighborhood other than those in the "creative class."
I also appreciate her speaking so much about the process of getting permission to use spaces. I'm personally really interested in public and community art, but not necessarily in the kind of places public art is usually displayed. Before Sarah gave her talk, I didn't know it was possible to get permission to use alleys. The long list of people and phone calls she went through seems like a perfect example of the itineraries we've discussed in class.