Alloverstreet is at once bizarre and inviting

Courtesy of MIA CAPOBIANCO  Work by Caroline Hatfield is currently on view at La Bodega Gallery.

Courtesy of MIA CAPOBIANCO
Work by Caroline Hatfield is currently on view at La Bodega Gallery.

By MIA CAPOBIANCO
Your Weekend Editor

I guess this was a week for finally attending events that the Your Weekend team members have been kicking themselves for missing (see Veronica’s article below). As a firm advocate of the need for Hopkins students to get off campus and experience the unique arts and cultural events regularly offered in Baltimore, I had felt like a bit of a hypocrite for having never attended Alloverstreet.

Alloverstreet is a monthly event featuring a series of simultaneous openings, shows and performances at various art spaces in the area around E. Oliver Street in Station North.

This month’s event featured a one-night show at the Motel 6 on North Avenue. Each room featured a site-specific installation or performance. I wasn’t able to make it to the Motel 6 in time to experience the show (it only ran for two hours) but I heard it was insane. (Apparently there was a man, his face covered in shells, screaming in a Motel 6. What more could you want of performance art?)

But I was lucky. There was so much art in the CopyCat Building that I didn’t feel the need to venture any further; I saw a collection of paintings, installation art, prints, sculptures and performance art in various locations throughout the evening.

I was particularly struck by Caroline Hatfield’s Blushing in the Ballroom Gallery, which featured many artists and various media, at La Bodega Gallery and a performance piece in a fourth floor unit in the Copycat.

Each of the shows offered something a little different. Hatfield’s work used materials not usually associated with high art, and they appeared simultaneously strong and delicate. Blushing seemed more whimsical and in a way less vulnerable. It showcased work from the curator’s personal collection. On display were images of childhood, sex and consumerism.

The performance piece was excellent. A woman was blindfolded and stripped naked then submerged into a bath of an unknown liquid as the audience learned that she would be the “solid ingredient” in their cocktail. People paid various prices to drink the cocktail, lap from her hands, lick something sweet off her back and so on. It was an interesting commentary on the commodification of the female body.

This event gave me a chance to see several shows all at once for no cost at all. I highly recommend hitting up Alloverstreet next month. It really does have something for everyone. And if you want to make a night of it, check out Club Charles a few blocks away. It is an old-school-cool bar with well-crafted, decently-priced drinks. (Plus, apparently John Waters frequents it.)

This all goes to show that if there’s an event that you’ve been thinking about going to for a while, you should go for it. It could be great.

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