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Public Artist

Talking Artscape, murals, and moving on with BOPA's Gary Kachadourian

Frank Klein
Gary Kachadourian says he does some of his best thinking--and drawing--on the bus.
"Trash Container," one of Kachadourian's series of life-size prints he draws on paper then enlarges to mammoth scale.
A detail of "Motors Installation," a collection of doodle drawings Kachadourian has been creating since he was in junior high school.
Frank Klein

By Tim Hill | Posted 8/12/2009

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CP: What about the city's attitude?

GK: I've found that the city government's always been fairly supportive of artists making art. They're not financially massively supportive, but they're not financially unsupportive. I think the economic problems [for art] in Baltimore are more the free-market issues than they are the city. I think Baltimore City puts money toward art like a city of a similar size and a similar-size tax base. Maybe not better, but not necessarily worse. And they're generally very supportive of unusual stuff, which is nice. If you call them up and say, "Hey, do you want to do this psychotic project?" And they say, "Yeah, sounds perfect."

Krzysztof Wodiczko, who's kind of a well-known artist who did these slide-projection things, said [something once like], "Bureaucrats are great. If you contact them with an interesting idea, they're generally bored, so if it's entertaining they'll probably help you if they have time." (laughs) It's a good city that way, but I think it's not unusual for that to be the case. I think it's better because there's not really, like, an art industry controlling it. When you try to do stuff like that in New York, there are so many layers of control.

That was always the beauty of [my job]. If you could figure out how to pay for it, everybody was like, "Yeah, let's try that."

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