February 10, 2007

Clipper Mill

As I mentioned in my previous post, Gutierrez:Studios is located in the historic Clipper Mill neighbourhood in Baltimore, just bordering the Jones Falls. John Gutierrez’s studio is in an old foundry in the Clipper Mill complex. This area is named for the work the factories there produced to go onto Baltimore's fast clipper ships in the 1800's. After a disastrous and fatal fire about 10 years ago, the space sat empty, just waiting for the right person to come and develop it.
Clipper Mill is still being developed as a mixed use of housing, retail, restaurants and businesses. So far, Gutierrez:Studios, Coradetti Glass and several other creative endeavours and galleries are located there. The Baltimore Architecture Foundation hosted their annual Groundhog Day party at the Studio last weekend, and although we drove around, it was dark when we left and we’d had a couple of drinks, so I went back today to look around. John's studio is enormous - about 250 feet long, 40+ feet high and 80 feet wide - covering about 20,000 square feet.
One of the most spectacular parts of the complex is the swimming pool, which is nestled in some old walls and surrounded by classical columns with gas torches on top. There is a large sculpture backing the pool and hill behind it.
Everywhere you look, there are mementos of the original use of the property as a foundry and factory. Large gears are inset into the walls and railings, industrial sculptures dot the grounds, and care has been taken to ensure that the history is preserved.

My memories of the sad weeks after the fire have been replaced by happy ones of a lively interesting place.

1 comment:

  1. His studio is ENORMOUS. I bet there are going to be some green-with-envy artistic types drooling over this post!


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