Day 146 Smalltimore

May 4, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Mural artist known as Nether creates a new wall at Mount and Presbury Streets in Baltimore. The art is in response to Freddie Gray's death and recent protests in the city. See completed mural below photographed 5/16/15.
Today David and I drove to Baltimore, something we do just about every other day. First stop was at New Beginnings, a black barbershop where I have put together an exhibit from my Creative Exposure Baltimore meetup group. The May 2 opening date had to be postponed because of threats to the area, so I talked with owner Troy about alternate dates and we decided on May 16. I was pleasantly surprised to find that three photographs have already sold. Then we went to Gallery 788 where I picked up an unsold piece from the Venus Envy exhibit and left two to donate to a fundraiser for the nonprofit Youth Empowered Society that was set on fire Monday night during the unrest. We chatted with owner Eduardo about how a Texan landed in this city. Since his move about six years ago, he has become a Baltimore fixture. 

Afterward, we drove around and wound up at the intersection of Mount and Presbury Streets, the troubled neighborhood of Freddie Gray who recently died in police custody and whose death was the catalyst for the recent protests and unrest. We noticed new artwork in creation. An artist known as Nether was painting a large mural of Freddie Gray’s face, with scenes of marchers on either side. Television crews were working on stories and a Korean TV reporter interviewed David. I talked with a black homeless man and another woman about what we have experienced in our city and our ideas about what needs to be done. And then I heard, “Hi, Ms. Bonnie,” and I saw Tyrus, a young black man I have photographed and who is home from college for the summer. We hugged, talked about his success completing his first year in college, and then drove him and his friend to the University of Maryland Hospital to meet with a friend. 

Many people have disowned and distanced themselves from Baltimore, especially after the past week. Their thought pattern aligns with “them” and “us” which creates a divisive wall. Too bad. Today David and I experienced joy in connecting with others, fellow human beings. Because we are open, our lives are enriched every day. Today the only wall we experienced was one holding art-- something that embraces our common experiences and pulls people together. I realized today that although my address is not within the city, my community is. 

My gift today is community.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here:

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