Find your inner artist

25th annual Artscape celebration will have lots of opportunities for visitors to make some art of their own



This weekend, the city will be alive with visual and performing arts for the 25th Artscape.

The festival includes hundreds of artists and craftspeople, visual art exhibits, live music on four stages, dance, opera, theater, fashion, film, hands-on activities, street theater and food and beverages from around the world.

Several new activities will be on board this year to commemorate Artscape's 25th anniversary. Dance workshops, including line dancing, ballroom and swing partner dancing, will help guests pick up some new moves. Actor Bill Pullman (Independence Day) will bring his play Expedition 6 to the Theater Project tomorrow. Expedition 6 incorporates trapeze techniques in the retelling of the rescue of astronauts from the International Space Station after the Columbia Shuttle disaster.

That night, a fireworks finale will light up the sky. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will play free concerts throughout the day Saturday.

Children can draw and paint and hang their work in the gallery in the family art park. Kids can write postcards to a pen-pal in one of Baltimore's sister cities from Ireland to Japan.

Art Demo Dayz will expose Artscape attendees to a variety of media, genres and techniques through artists' demonstrations. These artists include wood sculptors, body painters, potters, painters, instrument and jewelry makers and papier-mache artists.

Adrienne Mills, along with makeup artists and painters from Figure Photos, will give body painting demonstrations using airbrush, sponge and brush application.

"I will be transforming people into works of art," she said. Figure Photos will have belly dancers, opera singers and poets as their models at Artscape.

Rick Eisenmann will demonstrate how to build mobiles using cold hammered aluminum, copper and bronze. He said he'd like to see other artists embrace this form of expression.

"I want to create a movement," he said. "I'd like to see other artists making mobiles, and to that end I'd love to teach other artists." He said when he explains the secrets of mobile making to others, they are usually surprised that you don't start from the top, which Eisenmann said will make one "go nuts."

"This is really my first shot at going public with making these," he said.

Art Palmer will continue work on his "Warrior Fish" wood sculpture at Art Demo Dayz. The piece is a long fish with several atypical features such as wings and big teeth. He will have several of his other sculptures on display at Artscape as well as tools that he made out of 200-year-old wood.

Peter Blasser from Ciat-Lonbarde will bring his collection of touchable electronic instruments. Guests can try out the instruments and make their own mix tapes.

Martin L. Goggins will lead a hands-on activity in which guests will apply papier-mache to a canvas. After it dries for a day, Goggins and guests will paint over it to make what he calls a "texture painting."

Art Demo Dayz will also explore unfamiliar cultures and their art. Ikeme Fesseha Demessae will teach a bit of African geography and culture through music by using lamellophones, which are made of strips of metal called tongues (the keys) mounted to a wooden soundboard. Participants will learn how to play the mbira dza vadzimu, which means voice of the ancestors - an instrument that has been used to communicate with ancestors for thousands of years by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. He will teach the first song that everyone learns on the mbira, "Kariga Mombe," or to throw the cow, an expression Demassae said means "to accomplish something very difficult through practice."

Artscape will take place tomorrow and Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. The festival center is the 1200 block of Mount Royal Ave. All events are free. Parking garages include the University of Maryland, Baltimore Garage on Maryland Avenue and the Symphony Center Garage at Park Avenue and Preston Street. Free parking is available at the Maryland State Office parking lots at Eutaw and Preston streets. Call 877-BALTIMORE or visit

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