Our Projects and Neighborhoods

“If created by the residents themselves, each community’s designs, artwork and creative projects will be inherently different from all others. Real placemaking leads to ownership and sustainability of projects while also hampering gentrification.” – ARTblocks Director, Deborah Patterson

Featured project:

Mondawmin (current)

Westside Elementary School: “Trees of Life”GMF logo

As part of our creative placemaking efforts in Mondawmin, ARTblocks is collaborating with Westside Elementary School to beautify and artistically transform the school’s façade.

Entitled “Trees of Life”, the project consists of large hand-crafted mosaic tree trunks at the base with a living wall as the tree canopy. Mosaic Workshop at Rawlings Conservatory

A generous Gutierrez Memorial Fund grant provided us with the initial funding to create the mosaic tree trunks with Westside students during the school year and all summer long in workshops with the students, their families, and the Mondawmin community at Rawlings Conservatory.  The reach of the workshops went beyond expectations, with an average attendance of forty community members — mothers and children, fathers and children, old people and young.


young-audiences-maryland-logoThrough a grant from Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Maryland, ceramic artist, Amanda Pellerin, will work with teachers to incorporate their curriculum into the creation of additional mosaic tree trunks during school hours.

Botanical artist Edmundo Ortega will work with Westside’s Green Thumb Club to complete the living wall.
We currently seek $18,000 to complete the living wall.  [Won’t you be part of this extraordinary community project? Please contribute here!]


>Other projects that currently need funding:

Mondawmin (current)

2013: Five life-size elephant sculptures to slow down traffic and beautify an intersection.

Babies and AlcoOur biggest project to date!

One of the exciting results of our creative placemaking workshop with the Mondawmin community,  it is their creative solution to a busy, ugly and dangerous intersection in their community.

PNC Bank provided the initial funding for the elephants, which were constructed by local artist, Barbara Thompson–whose studio is within the community–with assistance from local painters and crafts pMosaic Workshop, 5:19eople.

The elephants are stunning. One side is painted–each by a different local artist–and the other side has designs created from recycled materials (bike parts, hub caps, fly wheels, etc).  At the bases are mosaic triangles created by Mondawmin residents, Westside Elementary School students, and other community members in year-long workshops we conducted at Rawlings Conservatory.

Globe Baby

Broad-based community support for the elephants—including adoptions by The Maryland Zoo, Antwerpen Motors, an anonymous donor, as well as in-kind gifts from National Lumber, P. Flanigan & Sons, and Sherwin Williams—illustrate the extraordinary things we can accomplish in Baltimore through collaboration!

The great news is that we have finally received approval for their installation inside Druid Hill Park on Auchentoroly Terrace between the intersections of Gwynns Falls Parkway (The Intersection!) and Liberty Heights.

An additional $5,000 towards the installation is still needed.  We’re hoping for a mid-December installation. [Won’t you be please contribute to this fabulous project?]  Thank you!

Our partners and collaborators on this project:

pnc RawlingConservatorylogo md zoo
p flanigan
 dhplogo RNP logo

Station North Arts & Entertainment District (current)

Creative Placemaking Workshop

On October 27, 2013, ARTblocks held a Creative Placemaking workshop to flesh out creative project ideas for an empty lot at Charles & 20th Streets.

Adopted by Man Alive Treatment Center, the overarching goal of this project is to create a safe, inclusive, green gathering and learning space for local residents—including seniors living in nearby J. Van Story Branch public housing.  The space will include seating, vegetable gardens, and a food stand.

A collaboration with Man Alive and funded by a Free Fall Baltimore grant from Baltimore Promotion and the Arts, the workshop is our second in Station North.


Highlandtown Arts & Entertainment District (current)

Three Intersections on Eastern Avenue

In 2013, the Southeast CDC brought ARTblocks in to address three of the principal intersections on Eastern Avenue: Conkling, East and Highland.

Three separate Creative Placemaking workshops were held with residents, stakeholders and members of the community with varying goals, outcomes and action items.

The strategic plans for all three intersections are currently being implemented.

Due to the success of this process to date, ARTblocks is now included an Our Town grant to hold three additional Creative Placemaking workshops in 2014: one in Highlandtown, and another in Baltimore’s Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District.

First workshop at Southeast Anchor Library


Second workshop at Southeast Anchor Library


Third workshop at Creative Alliance


>Completed Projects:

Mondawmin (completed)

2012: Rawlings Conservatory The Living Chair

Nick reading

Funded by a 2012 Partnership for Parks grant from Parks & People, this organic sculpture was created through collaboration with the Mondawmin Community Association, Rawlings Conservatory, and Friends of Druid Hill Park. Our common goal was to provide a venue for a story hour at the Druid Hill Park Farmers Market that complemented our previous successes in this neighborhood (see below) and provide the community’s children with an opportunity to learn, “Grow” and socialize.

The chair was created by local artists, Edmundo Ortega (botanical), Joe Kabriel, and our very own Director of ARTblocks, Deborah Patterson.

Mondawmin (completed)

2011: Mondawmin Community Association
Intersection of Gwynns Falls Parkway & Auchentoroly Terrace

In 2011, the Friends of Druid Hill Park and their partners at the Rawlings Conservatory contacted ARTblocks. Our mission: address a dangerous intersection that serves as the principal entrance to the park, the conservatory, and the Maryland Zoo.

In addressing this space, our first step was to hold a Creative Placemaking workshop for the community and stakeholders at Rawlings Conservatory. A Free Fall Baltimore grant from Baltimore Promotion and the Arts funded the workshop.

The results have been multidimensional. The community now benefits from improved signage, plantings, and count-down crossing signals that link the community safely to the park.

A wellspring of activity has blossomed in response. Festivals, concerts, and other activities now flourish here, and the neighbors now have easy access to a safer park, where an array of activities are encouraged and enjoyed.

ARTblocks and the community then continued to work in this area, creating a Living Chair where story hours are held for local children. Due to open in the fall of 2013: five life-sized elephant sculptures to arrest attention, and get traffic to slow down (see above).

Station North Arts & Entertainment District (completed)

2010: North Avenue corridor between Howard and Charles Streets

Our first Creative Placemaking workshop in the Station North area was held in 2010 to address the North Avenue corridor between Howard and Charles Streets.

A collaboration with Station North and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, this effort was funded by a Free Fall Baltimore grant from Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and held at the amazing studio/home of artist Roy Crosse.

Pimlico Road (completed)

Saint John’s Church

Collaboration with Pimlico Road Youth Program and St. John’s Church to make their parking lot a safer and more welcoming place. Life-size figures were designed and painted by Pimlico Road Youth Program and cut from steel by local artist, Stewart Watson. Funded through a Maryland State Arts Council grant.


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    834 W. 36th St.
    Baltimore, MD 21211