Michael Owen

[Mu­ral­ist, Art Cru­sader, Surfer Dude]

Where Baltimore - - Contents -

The mu­ral­ist paints a lov­ing por­trait of the city he calls home and sug­gests some col­or­ful ac­tiv­i­ties.

Owen is prob­a­bly best known for his Bal­ti­more Love Pro­ject, a mu­ral se­ries of hands spell­ing “love” painted through­out the city, and the na­tion’s long­est mu­ral lo­cated in High­land­town. He talks to us about his work, Bal­ti­more’s thriv­ing art scene, and his next trip ( Spoiler alert! It in­volves paint­ing).—AKD

Why was the Bal­ti­more Love Pro­ject im­por­tant to you? I still need ev­ery re­minder I can get to love oth­ers, that it’s the an­swer to the im­pos­si­ble, that it’s the most pow­er­ful. Re­mark­ably, see­ing these mu­rals still does that for me.

How did this spring’s un­rest af­fect your feel­ings about the mu­rals? Dur­ing and af­ter the un­rest, peo­ple seemed to grav­i­tate to them as a source of hope or pos­si­bly as the be­gin­ning of a so­lu­tion. It con­firms that the work with this pro­ject is not done.

Why do you think Bal­ti­more is such a great city for art? This town is thirsty for crazy ideas, for artists to ask, what if?, and then do it. For an artist, that presents an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity.

What kind of art­work can visi­tors ex­pect to find here? If they al­low them­selves to visit an un­ortho­dox venue, they might find a new art form.

What are you work­ing on now? I’m start­ing a res­i­dency pro­gram in south­east Bal­ti­more called HOME. It brings in artists from dif­fer­ent back­grounds and coun­tries to make art with and for our neigh­bor­hoods.

Where to next? Florida for paint­ing walls, vis­it­ing fam­ily, run­ning some art work­shops, and surf­ing with friends!

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