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MTSU’s Baldwin Gallery exhibit showcases effort to...

MTSU’s Baldwin Gallery exhibit showcases effort to preserve Baltimore’s architectural history

promo for MTSU's Baldwin Photo Gallery Sept. 16-Oct. 28 exhibit featuring Baltimore-based photographer and archivist James Singewald, center, who is shown with two of his images from the

A Maryland-based photographer and archivist is bringing his eye for detail to MTSU‘s renowned Baldwin Photographic Gallery for a new exhibit, “Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” featuring more than 40 striking examples of the city’s architectural history.

James Singewald‘s exhibit is on display weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Thursday, Oct. 28, in Room 269 of the university’s Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, 1735 Blue Raider Drive.

"Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” an exhibit of more than 40 photographs of historic buildings in the Maryland city by Baltimore-based photographer and archivist James Singewald, will be on display in MTSU's Baldwin Photographic Gallery Sept.16-Oct. 28. Singewald also will present a free epublic lecture at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. (photo courtesy of James Singewald)

“Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” an exhibit of more than 40 photographs of historic buildings in the Maryland city by Baltimore-based photographer and archivist James Singewald, will be on display in MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery Sept.16-Oct. 28.(photo courtesy of James Singewald)

Singewald also visited MTSU to discuss his work in a special public lecture Sept. 25.

Gallery and lecture guests must wear masks and observe appropriate distancing and other posted MTSU health safety protocols.

The Baldwin Gallery is located at the top of the stairwell in the Bragg Building’s interior courtyard.

A campus parking map is available here. Off-campus guests visiting the Baldwin Gallery should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Baldwin Gallery curator Shannon Randol, who also is an assistant professor of photography in the Department of Media Arts, says the Saturday scheduling for Singewald’s talk is a new option aimed at making visiting artists’ discussions more convenient for more participants.

“We’re doing our opening and events on the weekends now in hopes that it will bring people that couldn’t make it before,” Randol explains.

“We’re going to … see if this helps the Nashville contingency and some of our out-of-town people that would like to bring students from our regional universities.”

The Baldwin Gallery connected with Singewald with the help of MTSU photography professor Jonathan Coulter Trundle, who’s known him since the two were at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Singewald’s “obsessive collection of mapping, archiving and memorializing Baltimore,” as he puts it, began 13 years ago while he was a graduate student there.

Baldwin Gallery logo“My graduate thesis was encapsulated in the form of a self-published book titled ‘Old Town, East Baltimore,’ which specifically focused on the failed urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall, formerly Gay Street,” Singewald says.

“The failure of this project left the area a desolate two-block pedestrian mall. By photographing each of the buildings on the mall, I essentially created a historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline.”

He also turned his photographs into an opportunity to talk with lifelong residents and business owners to help understand the mall’s history and learn about — and share — the residents’ hopes for its renewal.

Over the last decade, the project has grown into a larger work, “Baltimore: A History, Block by Block,” with Singewald photographing 10 main streets in Baltimore and more than 100 city blocks to date.

He uses a 4-by-5-inch view camera and Fujichrome Velvia slide film to further showcase the “melancholic nostalgia, romanticization and ramification of the obsolete” in Baltimore’s historic buildings.

This 2013 series of image of the historic three-story brick buildings in the 1100 block of West Baltimore Street in Baltimore, Md., showing both the decline and the gentrification of the area, is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald's exhibit at MTSU's Baldwin Photo Gallery, "Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …," open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Click on the image to see more detail. (Photo courtesy of James Singewald)

This 2013 series of image of the historic three-story brick buildings in the 1100 block of West Baltimore Street in Baltimore, Md., showing both the decline and the gentrification of the area, is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald’s exhibit at MTSU’s Baldwin Photo Gallery, “Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Click on the image to see more detail. (Photo courtesy of James Singewald)

Singewald plans to create a series of photographic books and lectures on Baltimore’s architecture and a comprehensive, open-source, free digital archive of his photos and research to the public.

More information about Singewald’s work is available at his website, www.jsingewald.com.

The MTSU exhibit features 43 of Singewald’s striking color prints and a limited-edition artist’s copy of his book, “Old Town, East Baltimore.”

MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery is part of the university’s College of Media and Entertainment.

Guests can arrange public tours by contacting Randol at shannon.randol@mtsu.edu. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays when MTSU classes are in session.

For more information about MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery, visit https://baldwinphotogallery.com or www.facebook.com/BaldwinPhotoGallery .To learn more about the College of Media and Entertainment, visit https://mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

This 2009 image of the historic two- and three-story brick buildings at 544 Old Town Mall in Baltimore, Md., is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald's exhibit at MTSU's Baldwin Photo Gallery, "Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …," open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Singewald began photographing the failed 1920s urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall 13 years ago, when he was a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, to try to create a "historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline.” (photo courtesy of James Singewald)

This 2009 image of the historic two- and three-story brick buildings at 544 Old Town Mall in Baltimore, Md., is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald’s exhibit at MTSU’s Baldwin Photo Gallery, “Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Singewald began photographing the failed 1920s urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall 13 years ago, when he was a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, to try to create a “historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline.” (photo courtesy of James Singewald)

This 2014 image of the historic three-story brick buildings at 1390 and 1388 W. North Ave. in Baltimore, Md., is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald's exhibit at MTSU's Baldwin Photo Gallery, "Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …," open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Singewald began photographing the failed 1920s urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall 13 years ago, when he was a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, to try to create a "historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline.” (photo courtesy of James Singewald)

This 2014 image of the historic three-story brick buildings at 1390 and 1388 W. North Ave. in Baltimore, Md., is part of photographer and archivist James Singewald’s exhibit at MTSU’s Baldwin Photo Gallery, “Baltimore: Block by Block, Work in Progress …,” open Sept. 16-Oct. 28. Singewald began photographing the failed 1920s urban renewal project in East Baltimore known as Old Town Mall 13 years ago, when he was a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, to try to create a “historical document of what is left of the neighborhood after decades of decline.” (photo courtesy of James Singewald)


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