Baltimore Fish Bowl | Art movement shakes up Baltimore’s utility salt box –

Juliet Ames had noticed that the yellow salt boxes in parts of Baltimore City looked even more weathered than usual last December. After all, they had been sitting outside for over a year. The city’s Transportation Department, which typically collects them in mid-April, let them sit during the hectic first days of the pandemic.

They looked “extra naked and sad,” she said. She couldn’t sit back on her long-held desire to beautify them.

So despite her fears of getting in trouble for vandalism, Ames ventured to the corner of 36th Street and Roland Avenue and pierced a yellow plywood panel with decorative blue and white porcelain letters spelling “SALT”. BOX ”on the front of the eponymous sodium. chloride holder.

Ames took a picture and “posted it on Twitter, joking a bit like, oh my god, someone put graffiti on that box, ”she said. “Everyone knew it was me.

A few hours later, the art movement of the salt box was officially born after DOT responded with an official verdict: “We love it!… I think that calls for a challenge competition.

There are around 700 salt boxes throughout the city. About 175 of them now have art panels, designed and installed by dozens of city residents. Ames herself has transformed around 35 boxes.

“I’m focusing on Baltimore, highlighting the people and things that make Baltimore special,” she said. “These are like my little love letters to the city. “

There’s the club at Mid-Town Belvedere that celebrates jazz legend Cab Calloway. There is the Bolton Hill box that reads F. Salt Fitzgerald, for the famous author, who wrote Tender is the night while living in Baltimore. A box in front of the Baltimore School for the Arts honors one of its most famous alumni, Tupac Shakur – or, as the box puts it, Salt Pac.

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Christopher S. Washington