Before it started to get unbearably cold such that the tears streaming from my eyes from waking up so early froze into cute icicles, I would spend my Tuesday afternoon participating in the Acro-Yoga jam at St. Luke's Church in Hampden. Clad in cut-off jean shorts and a black tank, I biked over to the Church yard where I hoped to learn some Acro-Yoga since that was trending on social media. I met this eager, strong person named Frankie who came up to me and asked me if I wanted to play. I eagerly agreed, and she taught me my first few moves in Acro-Yoga. Week after week, I would see her from time-to-time and we would practice more advanced moves together.
Another tradition that we would share was getting the $1 Taco Tuesday special at Holy Frijoles in Hampden after the Acro-Yoga jam. One evening in late-July, Frankie and I shared an end of a table there. As we connected over how much we loved the bottomless tortilla chips and our fondness for nachos, she shared how she was also a graffiti artist. I told her that my friends and I were thinking of starting a creative space where we could film, photograph, and host artists. Just like when I first met her, she eagerly agreed to come over and create a piece of art with her graffiti.
A few weeks later she came over with her Montana Black spray paint cans, stencils of Boh, the Maryland Flag, and the Domino Sugar sign. She aimed to create Baltimore in space. It was this idea that when you drive into Baltimore from the southern highways, you can look up and see several versions of Baltimore's own North Star that herald your arrival home. It's something completely beautiful to know that you have come back to your own city with symbols representing your home.
I felt so glad to have the opportunity to host some friends and acquaintances as Frankie created her piece. While she worked, Sean took video in order to document her process and her story. At the end of the day, we had inhaled a lot of unhealthy fumes, covered the stage with spray paint, and felt spent using our space for the first time as an arts space. In some ways, it was almost a performance. Now all we need to do is continue past this first project with the same eagerness that started this new connection.