Silo Point’s Lotta Art event benefits Baltimore's School 33 Art Center - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Silo Point’s Lotta Art event benefits Baltimore’s School 33 Art Center

A steel and wire composition by Lonnie Ingram called Gorilla vs Anaconda. (Photo by Anthony C. Hayes)

Artists have long been at the forefront of charitable giving, using their talent not only to enrich but also to aid the community. In that spirit of benevolence, 170 of Baltimore’s finest artists donated their work for an art auction to benefit Baltimore’s School 33 Art Center.

The event was held last Saturday evening at the spacious Silo Point building on the city’s southern tip near Fort McHenry. Donations for the fundraiser included an assortment of acrylic paintings, sculptures, photographs and oils on canvas. Other pieces were done in fabric and wood; stainless steel, aluminum and bronze; water color, ink and mixed media on paper.

White City (Forefathers) by Matthew Freel. (Anthony C. Hayes)

White City (Forefathers) by Matthew Freel. (Anthony C. Hayes)

School 33 Art Center was established in 1979. Located in a late nineteenth century brick and brownstone building, the edifice was utilized as elementary school P.S. 33 until 1975. The building, which fell into disrepair when P.S. 33 relocated to a new facility a few short blocks away, was refurbished by the administration of then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer at the urging of the South Baltimore community. Today, the center connects contemporary artists and the viewing public – not only through exhibitions – but also by providing studios for artists, classes for adults and children, and special events and workshops for the community.

Over the past three decades, School 33 has hosted eighteen annual exhibitions in three gallery spaces and created an Open Studio Tour to showcase the artists in residence. The center also maintains an extensive outreach program to city schools in the South Baltimore area.

Artist Jeremy Crawford poses next to his work Extreme Couponer. (Anthony C.Hayes)

Artist Jeremy Crawford poses next to his work Extreme Couponer. (Anthony C.Hayes)

The Silo Point event drew a crowd of more than 200 people. One art enthusiast, Jeniffer Plichta drove all the way from Delaware. “It’s a great auction for a good cause,” said Plichta, who laughingly admitted she had gotten lost on her way into town. Plichta’s effort to first locate Silo Point and then secure parking in the crowded neighborhood, ultimately paid off when she won her favorite piece in the exhibit: a beautifully shaded and finished 22″ x 18″ x 21″ cross-section of the trunk from a maple tree.

Many of the artists who had donated their work were on hand for the auction. One artist, popular Baltimore photographer Jim Burger, told The Baltimore Post-Examiner that the exhibition was juried, to assure that only premier pieces would be included in the catalogue.

Jeremy Crawford, who ran a gallery for three years in Baltimore’s Station North district, donated a mixed media on wood composition he called, Extreme Couponer.

“It’s an older piece,” explained Crawford, “Not really representational, though the coupons are something I’ve always been obsessed with.”

A shadow box created by Kathryr Kawecki consisted of a cardboard box, green foam packing peanuts, plaster, a steel bolt and polypropylene twine. Appropriately entitled Moving House, Kawecki said the piece was drawn from her experience of moving seven times.

A portion of the exhibition  at Silo Point.

A portion of the exhibition at Silo Point. (Anthony C. Hayes)

“I said to myself, ‘I’m not moving this box again’ so what better way to do that than to make something with it?” Kawecki, a theatrical stage designer in D.C., blames her many moves for a lull she has experienced in her art work. “There is only so much you can do when you are in transition.”

Matthew Freel’s graphite on paper sketch of Christopher Columbus entitled White City (Forefathers) was inspired by Chicago’s 1892 World Columbian Exposition. Freel said, “The piece is an expression of ambition: what it means to those trying to progress against those who stand in the way.”

For Freel, donating the intricately drawn piece was his way of giving back the School 33. Freel told the Baltimore Post-Examiner that he worked out of a studio space at School 33 for a little over 2½ years. “I’m just very grateful to the entire staff of the school. It is a tremendous resource to artists.”

As the festivities wound down, organizers of the Lotta Art Benefit deemed the event a great success. Jim Burger’s fabulous and funny color photo, Weenie Roast, was the first piece to go. In total, more than 100 of the 170 donated works were auctioned at the event. The remaining works will be available for sale at the School 33 Gallery beginning today. School 33 Art Center is open during exhibitions Wednesdays to  Saturdays, 12 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Further information about the center and on viewing and purchasing art may be found here.

Feather Spoon - sterling silver and gold plate by Megin Diamond.(Anthony C. Hayes)

Feather Spoon – sterling silver and gold plate by Megin Diamond.(Anthony C. Hayes)

Moving House by Kathryn Kawecki (Anthony C. Hayes)

Moving House by Kathryn Kawecki (Anthony C. Hayes)







About the author

Anthony C. Hayes

Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A one-time newsboy for the Evening Sun and professional presence at the Washington Herald, Tony's poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!, Destination Maryland, Magic Octopus Magazine, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Voice of Baltimore, SmartCEO, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. If you notice that his work has been purloined, please let him know. As the Good Book says, "Thou shalt not steal." Contact the author.

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