The Garden As Gallery


As stated recently in a NY Times article, Baltimore is full of artists.  In recent years, works are making their way onto the streets and into yards and gardens.  Below are some examples of gardens as galleries, just around the corner from my home.


Tinge Commons is a newly opened community garden and public art space.  I would love to see these trees mingled in a natural landscape, but after speaking to the artist, I discovered that the trees were not originally intended to be outside.  -How cool it would be though, if they were made to endure and interspersed between other trees and flowers.


Here is a Hampden neighborhood resident’s version of the famed Spiral Jetty.  Just as Smithson used the site’s own materials to create his public work, so too, it seems, has this resident in their garden sculpture.


With this Hampden topiary, the art is the garden and the garden is the art.  The two are inseparable (some may say).


Remington has this literal take on a beer garden and I like beer.


Back in Hampden, a great tire planter sits in front of one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Holy Frijoles.  This planter transcends the tire and is a great example of upcycled art.  To make a tire planter, CLICK HERE for a link.


One of the best places to buy potential garden art is Baltimore Clayworks, a ceramic art center.  This commanding fountain resides in front of the building that houses classrooms and artist studios.


Across the street, in front of the gallery, my favorite local garden art piece resides.  Often art in the garden is an afterthought and could be more carefully considered.  Either the garden is around the art or the art is around the garden and neither is carefully integrated.  -But here the ‘dog’ convincingly emerges from the bushes.


Graffiti Knitters Attack Neighborhood Tree


One of the things I like most about Hampden (my neighborhood in downtown Baltimore) is that, despite its transformation over the years, it still continues to surprise me.  It is not every day that you go to grab a cup of coffee and encounter a tree assaulted by a street gang of knitters!

Graffiti_Knitting2A day after I spotted the violated tree, an article appeared in the Baltimore Sun about the incident.  According to the Sun, the ‘tree sweater’ was a composite of several artist’s work and was assembled by a group of Hampden knitters.  Sue Caldwell, owner of Lovelyarns, a Hampden yarn and knitting supply shop said,

“A dozen knitters altogether contributed to it, including a young girl, India Olcheforte, from Washington, who heard about it and sent a piece she had made.  People were free to do anything they wanted. The only thing was they had to use green, white and purple yarn.”

Before the sweater appeared, the tree was a thing that I had grown so accustomed to seeing on a daily basis.  I had forgotten what it looked like.  Now, covered in a strange new texture, color and text assigned to its midriff, it is hard to pass by without stopping and inspecting.  “Hug Me” is sewn around the waist and it is not discernible from any one vantage point, so you are required to encircle the tree to figure it out.  Thank you knitters for taking the winterizing of plants to a whole new level!


Gardeners Note: Covering a tree for a short period of time is not likely to damage the tree while it is dormant, but the sweaters should be removed by April, so the tree can breathe in the spring air.

For a link to the article in the Baltimore Sun, CLICK HERE.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 10:36 am  Comments (4)  
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