Image by Spewker via FlickrPenny, an army wife and my friend at I Could Be Fake, is running a Flashback Friday Bloghop, which I've decided to try. Why not? I was planning on blogging about Artscape anyway.
The last time I went to Baltimore's Artscape, one of the biggest free art shows in America, if not THE biggest, I wasn't expecting very much. A few outdoor exhibits, some local vendors, maybe some interactive play gardens, and of course, the usual free concert performances and indoor theater. Boy was I ever wrong.
The festival is so big, it now covers a huge swath of Mt. Royal Avenue, from the first MICA building near North Avenue, all the way down past the University of Baltimore, and from there it shoots off in two different directions -- one headed south toward the Meyerhoff, the other going north toward Penn Station. Wow. If I had known beforehand how much Artscape has grown, I would've gone down there the day of its opening and returned for a second day.
One day isn't enough to enjoy all of this baby's bounty. Free street performances, indoor theater, movie screenings, art exhibits, art vendors, festival vendors, a children's interactive village, free food and water giveaways, gobs of food vendors, reality challenges, non-profit giveaways, free concerts ... the list goes on. I'm not gushing about Artscape just because I love Baltimore and its quirky artist community. This annual festival is truly unique. Everyone should experience it at least one time.
Last year, while wandering through the festival looking somewhat like an oversized Alice down the rabbit hole, I happened across an interactive karaoke booth, Mini-Okee, and knew I had to give it a whirl. The performances would be posted on YouTube, quite an incentive to brave the long line. Who doesn't like to see how they look on video? Obviously a lot of people, but not I. Yes. I'm a real ham.
After viewing this piece of amateur "American Idol" fodder, I immediately knew I had made an absolute fool of myself. How I wish I had chosen silly over style. Check out this guy in all his glory. So funny I could bust a gut.
But those are the breaks when one goes for the gusto. I'm looking forward to a chance to redeem myself, though probably not at Artscape, which opens today.