Dwayne Butcher on the Artist-Run Art Fair at Artscape 2015

Organized by artist collective Open Space, the Artist-Run Art Fair is by far the best thing about Artscape. It was last year as well, when it was known then as the Alternative Art Fair.

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There were a couple of okay things/artists/projects/crafts to look at with all the other vendors, art cars, and food trucks. The performances and installations that were a part of Lazy River, curated by Maggie Villegas and Melissa Webb, were quite interesting and engaging. Laure Drogol’s seesaw installation on the Charles Street bridge was cool and the kiddos seemed to love it; it played well into the water theme for this years Artscape. Chris Cumbie’s The Nightmare Before Christmas rip-off’s were fun and priced to sell. And, Leah Boelman’s threaded quips on reclaimed wood were cute, but we have all seen these at Trovh before this weekend. It was definitely the Artist-Run Art Fair that made me trek to Artscape twice this weekend.

At first, the Artist-Run Art Fair seems out of place. As if, with this kind of experimental work and these artist run, non-profit/guerilla spaces, most of the patrons to Artscape would not know how to react to it. I would be curious to know how many of the 350,000 attendees seek out these art spaces after Artscape? Even if the number is zero, I think it is important for people to see this work, to know that it exists in their city, even if it is only for these three days.

Lucas Haroldsen

Lucas Haroldsen

The Monument Quilt_01

The Monument Quilt

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The Monument Quilt

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Akimbo Performance Space

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Akimbo

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Akimbo

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Akimbo

Seeing a performance by Akimbo in their make-shift performance space would have to be a highlight for just about anyone. I imagine the conversations that people have when coming across a cigarette lighter attached to the floor with silicone. I would love to know what goes through a viewers mind when they see how bb has installed their work. I think most people enjoyed participating in Stephen Crouch’s selfie installation. The discourse that was generated by seeing the work of The Monument Quilt is just about priceless and definitely needed.

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Stephen Crouch with Furthermore

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Stephen Crouch with Furthermore

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Stephen Crouch with Furthermore

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Stephen Crouch with Furthermore

There were several highlights within this highlight of Artscape. The previously mentioned lighter sculpture by Lucas Haroldsen, showing with Open Space. Also, Esther Ruiz showing at Platform. I am super excited about her upcoming August exhibition there.

Esther Ruiz

Esther Ruiz with Platform Gallery

Niels Post

Niels Post with Transmitter

I loved Niels Post’s work with Transmitter and Guest Spot @ the Reinstitute, because I am obsessed with all text work nowadays. Also, Sophie Friedman-Papas with Lil’ Gallery.

Sophie Friedman-Papas

Sophie Friedman-Papas with Lil’ Gallery

On a side note, Lil’ Gallery had their last opening this weekend and their booth was titled, Everything Must Go. If they really are indeed done, it’s sad to see them go, but I am glad they got to put together so many great exhibitions.

Justin Lucas

Justin Lucas with Current

Current Space’s Justin Lucas’ Big Boyz Bail Bonds pens print was the most Baltimore thing ever. So good.

Other works that stood out at the 2015 Artist-Run Art Fair During Artscape are as follows.

Transmitter & Guest Spot

Transmitter & Guest Spot Table

Sarah Favreau

Sarah Favreau with Terrault Contemporary

Michael Bussell

Michael Bussell with Lil’ Gallery

Open Space Exhibit

Open Space Exhibit Booth

Lucas Haroldsen

Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space

Lucas Haroldsen

Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space

Lucas Haroldsen

Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space

Lucas Haroldsen

Lucas Haroldsen with Open Space

Lauren Portada

Lauren Portada with Transmitter

Kelley McNutt

Kelley McNutt with Open Space

Kaita Niwa

Kaita Niwa with Platform Gallery

Kaita Niwa

Kaita Niwa with Platform Gallery

Justin LUcas

Justin Lucas with Current

Justin Lucas

Justin Lucas with Current

Julia Scroggin

Julia Scroggin with Lil’ Gallery

Jerry Walters

Jerry Walters with Sediment

Jerry Walters

Jerry Walters with Sediment

Get You Life

Get Your Life Productions

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Angela Arrigo from Platform Gallery

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Get Your Life Productions

Press Press

Get Your Life Productions

Always Already Here Vol 1

Always Already Here Vol 1 with Ortega y Gasset Projects

Christopher McCarthy

Christopher McCarthy with Terrault Contemporary

Christopher McCarthy

Christopher McCarthy with Terrault Contemporary

Christopher Kardambikis

Christopher Kardambikis with Sediment

Christopher Kardambikis

Christopher Kardambikis with Sediment

Chris Owen

Chris Owen with Lil’ Gallery

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith with Sediment

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith with Sediment

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith with Sediment

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bb group exhibition featuring the work of Grace Davis, Christina Haines, Michael Jones McKean and John Zane Zappas

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bb group exhibition featuring the work of Grace Davis, Christina Haines, Michael Jones McKean and John Zane Zappas

Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery

Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery

Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery

Audrey Van de Castle with Platform Gallery

Andrew Thorp

Andrew Thorp with Lil’ Gallery

Alex Day

Alex Day with Lil’ Gallery

Alex Ebstein

Alex Ebstein with Transmitter

Alan Resnick

Alan Resnick with Open Space

Always Already Here Vol 1

Always Already Here Vol 1 with Ortega y Gasset Projects

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Open Space’s second annual Artist Run Art Fair (formerly the Alternative Art Fair) happened July 17-19, 2015 and featured 18 artist-run and nonprofit organizations from Baltimore and beyond, including Press Press, Get Your Life! Productions, Open Space, Sediment, bb, Akimbo, Platform, Little Berlin, Furthermore, Lil’ Gallery, Transmitter, Guest Spot, FORCE, Invisible Majority, Ortega y Gasset, Terrault Contemporary, Make Studio, and Current.

Author Dwayne Butcher is an artist, writer, curator and chicken wing connoisseur living in Baltimore, MD. Butcher takes the bus to work everyday where he runs a design, print and animation studio at UMBC. He has had the same haircut for ten years and his wife thought Brad Pitt looked like a woman until he got old, now she thinks he looks better. Fortunately for Butcher, his wife does not like pretty boys. To see his work and curatorial projects, visit dwaynebutcher.com, better yet, get in touch, he would love to have you over to the studio.