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Artists Mata Ruda, LNY, Nanook and Gaia will come to Baltimore to paint for the Arabber stable on the West Side

First mural produced by Gaia last fall
First mural produced by Gaia last fall

Artists Mata Ruda, LNY and Nanook have been invited to Baltimore to paint the stables for the Arabber Yard on the West Side of the city. This project builds off of the mural produced by Gaia last fall for the Arabbers on Fremont Avenue and will serve as a segue into transforming the yard into historic preservation site.

Arabbing as a practice began in the 19th century in Baltimore when easy access to stables and the shipyards of the inner harbor made selling fruit with horse drawn carriages an attainable entrepreneurial enterprise for African Americans in Baltimore. During the war effort and after WWII arabbing became an almost entirely African American trade. Competition from supermarkets and restrictions from modern zoning laws have endangered this heritage. Today there are only a couple sites left that serve as arabbing stables, with the Fremont Avenue location being one of the most prominent in the city. Today, arabbing serves as a viable living for a handful of men and their families whilst also serving a variety of communities including neighborhoods that do not have easy access to produce and whole foods.

Mata Ruda, Gaia, Nanook and LNY will use the story and experience of Baltimore's fruit sellers to produce murals that will span the entirety of inside and exterior of the Fremont stables. The paintings are apart of a larger plan that will be implemented on behalf of the Arabber Preservation Society in the near future to make the site into a visitor center and provide the necessary renovations to the preexisting stable.

LNY for the Arabbers in SoWeBo last summer
LNY for the Arabbers in SoWeBo last summer

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only an act of god could prevent this project from coming to fruition. The artists are poised to paint rain or shine and have worked together extensively in the past. Baltimore is an extremely chill place to produce public art and permits are not necessary to paint publicly, even if one person were seriously injured during the mural painting, we could continue with their guidance.

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