200 cans of spraypaint, 100 gallons of latex, 81 conversations, 33 words, 12 hand painted signs and 9 walls are the stats (so far) on Love Letter Baltimore. The number of conversations doesn’t include all the sidebars, periphery comments, anecdotal discussions and inquisitive concerns I’ve engaged in almost everyday for the last two years. People love Baltimore—sure the TV show plays a part (pick one, theres a few)—and the auteur and the poet and the musicians and the sports teams make people care where they sprang from. But beyond the cultural contributions, people everywhere have a red-brick nostalgia for the city that belies its small stature.
For me, it was the hardest city we’ve painted in so far. We had to operate in the gulf between riches and despair, and in that space create work that actually works for the community. What made our job easier is that the community, on every wall, had ideas and demands for what the walls should accomplish. So Ricky in Westport was thinking “People should know this is home,” and Glenn on the East Side was thinking, “Break the disconnects and change the game,” and ICY SIGNS was the visual sound system to broadcast these signals.
The ICY Signs shop at 224 N. Paca is still there, waiting on more wall permissions and accepting commissions (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if your Baltimore business qualifies). We look forward to continuing the visual communication of conversation soon (soon, soon).