Saturday: The Blank Page Project: A Way Out

April 30

At Open Space's Publications and Multiples Fair this year I picked up a couple catalogs from the Blank Page Project, featuring artwork made by adults in Maryland prisons (via the Free Space project) and young people in juvenile detention centers, rec centers, and Gilmor Homes (via Baltimore Youth Arts). In these art programs—led by artists Gianna Rodriguez and Dave Eassa—people were given an outlet to express themselves (in these two publications there are Basquiat-influenced political paintings, expressive portraits, abstract watercolors, and more) and work on their own artistic skills and visions. Art can be anything for anyone, tapping into aspects of ourselves that are otherwise difficult to express, and making something tangible out of all that. Rehabilitative programs and creative outlets like these seem vital, affirming and bolstering senses of self under oppressive systems. This show features sculptures, paintings, drawings, and printmaking by artists from the Blank Page programs, aged 3-60. (Disclosure: Platform Gallery is run by two friends of mine: Lydia Pettit and Abbey Parrish.) Opening reception 7-10 p.m., through May 21, Platform Gallery, 116 W. Mulberry St., platformbaltimore.com, blankpageproject.org, free. (Rebekah Kirkman)

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