M.F.A Candidate, Yvonne Hardy Phillips, works with 7 prominent artists to transform East Baltimore properties into murals that commemorate the neighborhood’s unfolding history
When looking for a project on which to base the thesis for her M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice, Yvonne Hardy Phillips didn't have to gaze far beyond the stoop at her former home at 1139 Harford Ave., on the corner of Harford Avenue and Biddle Street.
Hardy Phillips, who owns the property in the heart of East Baltimore, and the building next door — where her mother once ran a café — saw the potential for these buildings to represent Baltimore's on-going cultural renaissance. And so, the You Are Here project was born.
You Are Here is a socially engaged public art project in which two muralists and works by five artists transform the exterior wall surfaces of two buildings that transforms using images based on East Baltimore's history. The project will celebrate its official opening on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 3 – 5 p.m.
These murals serve as visual expressions of the resilience of the community and self-determination of its residents. The opening event will feature MICA alumni Joyce J. Scott (Art Education B.F.A.), who was recently named a 2016 Fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and renowned mural artist, Gaia (Interdisciplinary Sculpture B.F.A.).
Hardy Phillips credits her MICA education for awakening her long-held passion for using art as a means to impact social change. And the ultimate objective of You Are Here is to foster the development and historic recognition of the Oliver community through creative interventions. Through the use of art and creative thinkers, she hopes the community will be designated as a Baltimore City Heritage Area in the near future.
"This project is a way to physically map the rich cultural story of ‘historic' central East Baltimore through portrait photography, oral interviews and site-specific public art," Hardy Phillips said. ‘The work here creates cultural sign posts that herald a community on the rise again — phoenix-like — in beauty and truth."
The You Are Here project is free of charge and open to the public.
This page was last updated on 10/20/2016.