Mexico City holds their ninth monumental “Alebrije” Parade. An annual event to honor Mexican handcrafts and folk art, especially a hard kind of papier-mâché called “cartonería” and the creation of fantastic figures with it called “alebrijes.” Alebrijes are chimera-like creatures credited to artisan Pedro Linares painted in bright colors according to Wikipedia.
Bobby Adams, a 69-year old flea market dealer raised in Dundalk, never expected to see his art in a museum. Now Adams, a self-taught photographer, writer and mixed-media artist, is seeing his creative output with new eyes at “The Big Hope Show,” which opened this month at the American Visionary Art Museum. Rebecca Hoffberger, the museum’s director, discovered Adams through another Baltimore original, John Waters. Adams, a hippie in the late 1960s, fell in with the young filmmaker and his renegade collaborators. “Pink Flamingos” was filmed at the Phoenix, Maryland farm where Adams was living. His photographs of those outsider days seem particularly at home at AVAM, the haven for intuitive visionary artists who thrive outside of society’s conventions.
Centennial Park located just off Route 108 in Ellicott City, comprises 337 acres, and features a 54-acre, man-made lake which contains a wildlife management area. Home to over 200 kinds of birds, ducks and geese, as well as other wildlife, the lake is stocked with fish by the State Department of Fisheries. The 2.6-mile path surrounding the man-made gem also offers beautiful vistas in every direction.
The rolling hills of Fallston, Maryland are home to Belvedere Farm, which was established in 1823 and family owned. The farm raised sheep and grain in the 1800’s and was operated as a dairy farm from the 1920’s until 1972. The farm has been host to thousands of school children over the years along with corn mazes and pumpkin picking. They started growing cut flowers in the 1990’s and that has been the farm’s mainstay ever since. Thirty five different varieties of flowers are grown, including their prized Dahlias. The cut flowers are sold at local farmer’s markets in Harford County and at the farm on Fridays and Saturdays from May until the first frost.
The Maryland Food Bank is well known for providing food to people in need through its many programs. One of those programs, FoodWorks, not only helps reduce hunger, it also develops culinary skills in the aspiring chefs preparing the meals. Through a partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), the Maryland Food Bank offers 12 weeks of training in culinary arts to low-income people. Scholarships from the organization eliminate a financial barrier for many.
As the Orioles’ 2015 season comes to a close and a play-off appearance seemingly remote, I started to look for something different during the games. I was looking for interesting pictures that show the traditions of the game, like players chewing bubble gum, fans seeking autographs or a batter get thrown at after a home run. I also photographed tight close-ups of mitts used by last season’s Rawlings Gold Glove award winners that have gold labels, and how the home team grounds crews always smooth the infield on the top of the inning when the Orioles are on the field. There are images that show that fraction of a second that is invisible in real time, like a bat breaking on impact with a pitch, a runner avoiding a tag or beating a throw to reach base.
Franchon Crews always wanted to be a professional singer. At 16, she took up boxing to lose weight for her singing career, but soon fell in love with the sport. Known as the Heavy Hitting Diva, Crews is now working toward her new dream: making the women’s U.S. Olympic boxing team. She was an alternate in the London 2012 team, and has been training ever since.
The Baltimore Sun newspaper has a rich history of photojournalism. The Sun has employed a long line of award winning photographers. To pay tribute to these photographers, The Darkroom will periodically take a look back at the body of work by some of these photographers whose love of their craft helped document the lives of people from the backstreets of Baltimore to the four corners of the globe. One of those photographers was Charles Edward Nolan.
The Oxford Bellevue Ferry, which began service in November of 1683, connects the eastern shore towns of Oxford and Bellevue and is believed to be the oldest privately owned ferry route in the United States. Captains Tom and Judy Bixler bought the ferry, “Talbot,” in January of 2002. The ferry runs 7 days a week from April through November (although only on weekends in November) making continuous crossings on a 3/4 mile stretch of the Tred Avon River every 15-20 minutes. The ferry can hold nine cars as well as foot passengers and bicycles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. It runs from 9 in the morning until sunset.
The Darkroom went to the 2015 Maryland State Fair and asked folks young and old to show us their animals. There were a wide variety of creatures, but what is very evident is the pride they took in their companions.