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Street Art Finds A Vacant Home

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The vacant home on Fremont Avenue.July 26, 2013

Tom Hall recently went to what’s left of a dilapidated house on Fremont Avenue in West Baltimore. It’s a reminder of the neglect and decline that has troubled that neighborhood, and many neighborhoods like it, for years. And, it’s also, in its own way, a work of art. A mural on one of the walls, depicts stairs and scaffolding that cascade down three flights, interrupted only by the rotting red brick of what’s left of the wall.

The mural is the product of a group of artists and activists who want to draw attention to the estimated 16,000 vacant buildings in Baltimore. The artists are led by the street artist known as Nether, who founded a group called Wall Hunters. They install paintings and sculptures on and around vacant properties to call out the owners, and the politicians in whose legislative districts they stand. Along with the art, they post QR codes on the buildings, so with a click of your smartphone, you can be taken to a website called Baltimore Slumlord Watch. There, you’ll find out the names of the people who own it, and other publicly available information about the property. The website is run by Carol Ott. She’s also the director of a non-profit organization called Housing Policy Watch.

Tom talks with Nether and Carol Ott about "The Slumlord Project".

See pictures of more Slumlord Project murals here.


 E-mail: mdmorning@wypr.org

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