The Walters Art Museum has partnered with 25 local organizations to present Off the Wall, an open-air exhibition that brings reproduced classic paintings to Baltimores main streets and outdoor spaces. The museum is replicating paintings on weather-resistant vinyl, placing them in period-correct frames, mounting them to commercial walls and planting them in parks. These high-quality reproductions will be displayed from Nov. 2012 through April 2013. For phase twoJuly through Dec. 2013the same works will be installed in new locations. CFG Community Bank is generously sponsoring Off the Wall with a $15,000 donation.
Off the Wall encourages people to explore the wonderful neighborhoods and businesses throughout Baltimore, said Gary Rever, CEO of CFG Community Bank. People in Fells Point will enjoy three displays, including Manets At the Café, which is located outside on our new branch building at 1615 Thames Street.
Each framed reproduction comes with a label that names the work and describes the project. A Quick Response or QR code next to each work can be scanned with a Smartphone, leading to a more detailed description on the Walters works of art site. Partner locations will distribute maps showing all 25 works, and a printable version of the map can be found at http://thewalters.org/offthewall/
Off the Wall is a reminder that the Walters collection belongs to the people of Baltimore. We hope these reproductions spark curiosity and inspire people to see the originals, said Walters Director Gary Vikan.
The Walters has two ways for the public to share fun and creative photographic responses to the project. A group on the photo-sharing website Flickr is available at http://www.flickr.com/groups/otwbmore/
in addition to the #otwbmore hashtag for Twitter.
Many of the reproductions around town have light-hearted thematic ties to their locations. Examples include:
The tagline for the Darker Than Blue Café is Where Blues and Jazz Meet Great Food and on their narrow brick facade will sit Figaros Shop, a scene set in Rome, in which a young gypsy strums a guitar while men in frock coats play checkers;
The Archdukes Albert and Isabella Visiting a Collectors Cabinet, from the 17th century, depicting a Flemish collectors room of rare and artistic objects, will sit on the side wall of Hampdens Avenue Antiques;
The 19th century painting, Bunch of Grapes, will be centered on the canary yellow wall of Aldos Italian Restaurant in Little Italy; and
Syria, The Night Watch, a moonlit scene of ferocious lions among ancient ruins painted in 1880, will be attached right to the lion cage display at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
The street art project had an early rollout in September when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake unveiled The Tulip Folly at City Hall, a festive event that featured a costumed nobleman who gifted tulip bulbs to attendees.