Charm City Circles

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in travels | 2 comments

No matter which route you take, Portland to Baltimore is a solid 10 hour roadtrip. But how warm the welcome!


We arrived at the home of Donna and Peter, just in time for some local craft beer and chicken roasted on their deck, with the Natty Bo sign winking a few blocks away.


They have a wide collection of art, but this oil painting of Peter as a young man is my favorite.


We headed in the morning over to MICA’s Parents Weekend, eager to see our new freshman. Let the hugs begin!


We stopped at MICA’s Print Lab. Nice to have such resources so handy on campus.


We hung out for awhile in the Main Building, so we could meet faculty.


Abandoned drawing boards held studies interrupted. I later did this sketch of a statue in the mezzanine that could be a Weeping Angel.


While Daisy returned to class, we ventured to the Paper Moon Diner, a feast of eye candy.


This place shares the same over-the-top spirit as the local American Visionary Art Museum. Nothing is ever wasted.


We met back at Founder’s Green, aglow with autumn.


Patterson Park was a sublime discovery.  Sunset vistas and more hugs.


This pagoda was the magnet.



We passed the new Film Center, where another of Baltimore’s signature murals enlivens the urbanscape. Didn’t realize our host, Karen, editor of the City Paper, was there chatting with John Waters.


She met up with us later at MICA’s Haunted House.


We snaked through a long line but it was worth it. One creepy tableau after another, nightmarish settings with bloody characters totally in your face. I was relieved when it was OVER.

On Saturday we returned to MICA for more encounters. Marty went to a panel on the Freshman Foundation program, while I participated in the Art of Critique, led by MICA faculty and Foundation Chair, Fletcher Mackey. He asked for 5 volunteers to become the “author” of a work on view in the Decker Gallery’s exhibit, The Possibility of Transformation.


Each parent spoke about their piece, followed by comments from the group, while Professor Mackey promped us with questions and feedback. Insightful discussions, indeed.

We connected with Daisy for another visit to Paper Moon, followed by a rendezvous with Donna at her newest restaurant opening soon at Mill No. 1. Such a cool location, location, location.


Back at the dorm, Daisy showed us her projects. She’s been plenty busy.




Those color studies, I remember them well.

We headed to Federal Hill for more vistas and fresh air.


From there we joined up with Karen and her husband, Steve, who directed Agnes of God for UMBC.


The entire production was stellar, from the mature performances to the detailed sets and haunting lighting and sound design.


Daisy returned to her dorm and we stayed with Karen and Steve. We can highly recommend their place, in a historic row house not far from MICA or Johns Hopkins. It was hard to leave on Sunday morning.

Here’s a little pastel I made of the Brown Building, we call it the Ice Cube. It seems to change shape as you walk past.


We encountered another family from Portland, Daniel and Marcia Minter, whose son is a classmate with Daisy.


Family time felt so good! We left Baltimore full of hugs that we hope last til Thanksgiving. Thanks, MICA!


  1. I love tripping with you guys!

  2. Great photos. Love the portrait (and your sketch) too…who’s the painter?

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