Legacy Projects

Since inception in 2010, Gutierrez Memorial Fund has proudly awarded over $300,000 to local artists and arts organizations through our annual Legacy Grant. This grant facilitates an arts-based project, and sometimes more than one, that builds skills, engages our community, and transforms our environment. These are better known as our Legacy Projects. 

Read about each project in detail below or check out our Guti Spots Quick Guide for a map and brief overview. 

2021 Legacy Project: Living Classrooms Mural

Living Classrooms is dedicated to improving the lives and futures of children, youth, and families by providing access to more equitable education, workforce development, skills training, community safety, and health and wellness opportunities. They have developed a distinct approach through experiential learning or what they call “learning by doing”. For over three decades, their diverse, hands on programs are building safer, stronger, and healthier communities for all. 

With support from GMF, Living Classrooms Foundation (LCF) will design and install an exterior mural on the side of their newly renovated Workforce Opportunity Center located at 1404 Thames Street in the Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore. Working in partnership with the organization Art with a Heart (AWAH), LCF will engage community youth in the planning, creation, and installation of the mural that will be installed on the south facade of the building, prominently facing Thames Street and the LCF Headquarters. 

The mural will be an homage to Frederick Douglass, one of Maryland’s most celebrated Black individuals. His leadership as an anti-abolitionist and accomplishments as an orator and writer inspired generations to champion equality in the face of racist institutions. A museum honoring his life is in the LCF Headquarters as well.

The primary goals of the project are to beautify a public space through the introduction of art; foster connection in the community through creative engagement; and to teach art and history. 

We are very excited to get our latest Legacy Project underway. Workshops are just beginning, and we anticipate the mural to be completed in September 2022. 

To learn more about the work of Living Classrooms, click here

2020 Legacy Project:  B&O Street Art Project

The B&O Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the physical legacy and experience of American railroading. While perceived as a history museum, they are equally an art museum using multi-media to interpret one of the oldest and most comprehensive collections of railroad history in the country.

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, the B&O Railroad Museum will facilitate the Street Art Project – a permanent art installation inspired by the uniquely intertwined history of railroad culture and graffiti art.

In partnership with the East Baltimore arts organization, Creative Alliance, the B&O selected four Baltimore-based graffiti artists to create a mural on a train car located on the museum’s property in West Baltimore. They selected artists whose work responded to the concept of “connectivity” – a theme that is present in both contemporary culture and railroad history.

The primary goals of the project are (1) to enhance the environment with a permanent art installation created by local artists; (2) showcase the intersection of rail culture and street art; (3) foster new dialogues between rail history and art communities and; (4) connect new audiences to the railroading legacy in Baltimore.

The long-term goal of the project is to lead to an ongoing initiative to highlight local graffiti artists with new themes every year or every other year, so that the murals remain responsive to contemporary society and maintain the museum’s connection to the local community.

Funding a museum is definitely atypical for the Gutierrez Memorial Fund. But 2020 was an atypical year! Focused on the overall impact of this project, GMF was moved by the B&O Railroad Museum’s commitment to serve the entire community and how successfully the project bridged the past to the present, railroad history with contemporary art, and connected our East and West Baltimore communities.

In addition to its permanent display to museum visitors, the B&O will hold a series of Community Days offering FREE Museum admission to celebrate the completed Legacy Project and provide an opportunity to meet the artists.

To learn, more about the B&O click here.

2020 Legacy Project:  Ghost Rivers

Bruce Willen is a multidisciplinary designer, artist, and the founder of Public Mechanics — a design and art studio working in public and cultural spaces. Prior to Public Mechanics, Bruce co-founded the acclaimed design agency, Post Typography, where he led high-profile projects that have shaped the visual language of Baltimore and beyond.

Over the past several years, Bruce’s work has turned an eye towards public space. With GMF’s Legacy Grant, Bruce will produce ‘Ghost Rivers’ — a public art installation that highlights a forgotten history of “lost” rivers beneath our feet.

This unique project traces Sumwalt Run (also called Edwards Run) a major tributary of the Jones Falls River where it still flows in concealed culverts beneath the streets of Baltimore City in the Remington and Charles Village neighborhoods.

To visualize the Ghost River, the artist will design, fabricate, and install permanent, artistic wayfinding markers embedded in the surface streets and sidewalks to trace the original path where the hidden river once flowed.   

The Ghost Rivers project seeks to engage the community in its history of how their current neighborhood fits in with the natural world and how this knowledge might be used to make their community more sustainable and resilient. The project also aims to create moments of discovery and serendipity by providing a fun way to experience science, art, and self-directed learning.

The overall goals of the project are (1) to enhance the physical environment; (2) to increase awareness of the landscape, history, and ecology, and; (3) to promote community engagement with the built and natural environment on a neighborhood level.

Community building is a key component and will be included in the form of at least one educational activity (walking tour, workshop, presentation, or knowledge sharing session) in partnership with Blue Water Baltimore and the Greater Remington Improvement Association.

We are proud to announce that after receiving GMF’s Legacy Grant, Bruce was able to apply for matching funds and was awarded an additional grant from Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) to expand the project to multiple sites.

To learn, more about the Ghost Rivers, click here

2020 Legacy Project:  Totemic Sculpture

Baltimore Clayworks and featured artist, George Rodriguez, in partnership with CASA Baltimore and Central Maryland, have been awarded the Gutierrez Memorial Fund’s Legacy Grant for the project, ‘Totemic Sculpture’.

Baltimore Clayworks is a community-centered ceramics institution in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Founded by nine artists in 1980, Baltimore Clayworks has a national and international reputation for artistic excellence and community involvement.

Born and raised in the border city of El Paso, TX, artist and sculptor George Rodriguez creates humorous decorative ceramic sculptures that address his identity and community.

CASA Baltimore and Central Maryland is a group of passionate, community-conscious people working to organize, advocate for, and expand opportunities for Latino and immigrant people in the state of Maryland.

The partners’ collaborative desire to create a visual representation of their multi-cultural community is the driving force for this GMF Legacy Grant. Funding from our grant will support the design, fabrication, and installation of a ceramic-based totemic sculpture by George Rodriguez. The artist’s inspiration comes from ancient temple guardian figures that can be seen around the world offering protection over holy places. George’s totemic sculpture will similarly serve as a ‘guardian’ protecting our contemporary neighborhoods and the community in East Baltimore.   

The project will also engage and encourage CASA’s community of parents, students, Black, LATINX and immigrants to come together to share ideas and cultural awareness with hands-on opportunities lead by the artist. Additional workshops with Baltimore Clayworks will further enhance the creative experience and enable CASA participants to create a mini guardian sculpture of their own.

The goal of the project is to (1) beautify a public space with sculptural art; (2) foster connection in the community through engagement and creativity; (3) teach art, history and ceramic production.   

Rodriguez’s sculpture will be permanently installed in a public space near CASA Baltimore’s East Baltimore location at 2706 Pulaski Highway in 2021

To learn more about our Legacy Grant team, go to Baltimore Clayworks, George Rodriguez and CASA.

2019 Legacy Project:  Sculptural Benches

Greenmount Tile is a woman owned and operated Baltimore-based, handmade tile company using digitally enabled processes to design prototypes and manufacture consistent high-quality ceramic tiles from American clay.

With GMF’s Legacy Grant, Greenmount Tile will design, fabricate and install two ceramic tile seating features for the Hunters Street Lot in Baltimore’s Greenmount West neighborhood.

This project will combine technology, digital fabrication and ceramic tile. Through a series of workshops, held virtually or coordinated with the reopening of public spaces, founder Dominique Hellgeth will teach her craft and develop a STEAM curriculum. She will working with the Greenmount West Community Center and other local organizations such as Open Works, and Station North Tool Library to engage members of the community at every stage of the project’s development.

The goal of the project is to beautify a valued green space in Baltimore with two uniquely crafted sculptural benches; foster community connection; teach ceramic production methods; and develop a STEAM curriculum that can become an open resource to others.

Please stay posted as this exciting Legacy Project progresses!

2018 Legacy Project:  Amazing Grace Breezeway

Wande Kotun is a self-taught artist originally from Macon, Georgia by way of Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to Baltimore in 2015 and instantly fell in love with the city’s rich arts culture. She was initially introduced to Amazing Grace Lutheran Church through a local organization, Unique Fabrics, that teaches women and children how to sew. She volunteered as the teaching artist for the youth summer series, and it was there that she learned first-hand about the church’s mission and the pivotal role it plays in the East Baltimore community.  In addition to being a church, Amazing Grace offers after-school programming for kids, a food pantry, a community garden, and supports the Center for Grace Full Living.

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund artist Wande Kotun will work with members of the community to revitalize the church’s breezeway. The breezeway is a community gathering space and the gateway to the community gardens.  Through art education and design-thinking workshops Wande will encourage the community to curate their own space. The Breezeway will be transformed with the addition of a large mural, including mosaics and individually mounted art pieces created by residents. The goal is to create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor gathering space for the entire community to enjoy.

2018 Legacy Project: Boys and Girls Clubs Decorative Window Grilles

Nicole Fall is a sculptor and an educator with decades of experience in both the field of art and education. She has taught at Friends School, Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and MICA, to name a few. She’s also been the Community Arts Program Director for Baltimore Clayworks.

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, Nicole Fall will lead a community design program at the Brooklyn O’Malley Recreation Center for the purpose of creating artistic window grille designs for the building. Nicole will direct workshops and engage the community in the creative process. The goal of the project is to protect the windows and add an artistic feature to the building’s façade. The first phase of funding will complete the design which will later be fabricated in steel. GMF has committed additional funding to complete the project.

2017 Legacy Project:  Itineris, Gateway Pergola

students_painting.pngItineris is committed to providing opportunities to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Drew Putzel Creative Arts Program (DPCAP) is a training program within the organization that provides their clients with creative outlets for self-expression, vocational training and skill building, and for some, assistance with establishing their own businesses.

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, Itineris, DPCAP artisans and Baltimore artist, Lania D’Agostino, will create a Gateway Pergola to the Hooper and Rockrose Park in Woodberry. The grant will facilitate a special hands-on partnership between Itineris’ clients and the community through the creation of a public art piece. The Gateway will beautify the environment and create a welcoming space for the entire community. Itineris artisans will contribute the mosaics to adorn the sides the pergola and remain involved with the park’s long-term maintenance.

The goal of the Gateway Project is to cultivate awareness and acceptance of autism, as well as provide members of the community, local businesses and DPCAP artisans the opportunity to collaborate and build a network of creative partnerships.

To learn more about Itineris please click here.

2017 Legacy Project:  Maria-Theresa Fernandes, ‘My Favorite Things’

Maria_artworkMaria-Theresa Fernandes is a Kenyan born mixed media artist. She studied art in the UK and emigrated to the US in the early 80’s. ‘Travel’ and ‘Place’ are prominent themes that influence both her life and work. Throughout her career, Maria-Theresa has been involved with community work; including various communities from the homeless, women experiencing domestic violence, prisoners, youth-at-risk to seniors. She has taught art to adults with disabilities and is especially interested in working with seniors.

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, Maria-Theresa Fernandes will teach art to senior residents at the Weinberg Place at Levindale. Classes will be conducted two times a week from March through August and include instruction in printing, drawing, stitching, collage and digital photography. The workshops will result in the creation of a mixed-media Wall Hanging, titled ‘My Favorite Things’, illustrating the rich personal stories of the residents.  The completed piece will be permanently exhibited in the lobby of Weinberg Place.

The goal of the project is to (1) foster the creative spirit; (2) build skills; (3) and engage community through art and storytelling.

To learn more about Maria-Theresa Fernandes please click here.

2016 Legacy Project:  Carey Street Pocket Park

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, mural artist Justin Nethercut and landscape designer Elise Victoria, will transform a vacant lot in the Penn-North neighborhood into a holistic community space. The project will combine their two practices and result in the production of a large scale exterior mural and park. The landscaping will focus on beautifying the space in a sustainable manner through storm management and the planting of native plants and trees.

For substantial impact, the artists will work closely with members of the community; hiring residents to aid in the implementation and maintenance of the park, and collaborating with several Baltimore initiatives, including the Penn-North Kids Safe Zone, to teach children in the neighborhood about art and environmental design. The goal of the project is to revitalize the site and create a safe, public space for residents to engage with one another, use for public gatherings, and reflect on art & nature through the seasons. The project will begin in spring 2017.

To learn more about Justin and Elise and their new non-profit, Arts + Parks, please go to http://www.artsandparks.org/

And check out the recent article from Charm City Streets; an online site which covers public art in Baltimore and the work of local artists. Click here to read their piece on the Carey Street Pocket Park and see the project in progress.

2015 Legacy Project:  Jubilee Arts, “Art and Business” Program

Jubilee Arts is a catalyst Mural_Boysfor social change, using art as a tool for empowerment, community building, learning our history and changing our future. They offer classes in visual arts, dance, ceramics and business in partnership with Baltimore Clayworks, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), as well as, area artists, writers, and dancers. Jubilee Arts is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, an area with a rich history of African-American culture, and is helping to bring the arts back to life in our community!

With support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, Jubliee Arts, in partnership with Baltimore Clayworks, will offer a full year art & entrepreneur program called ‘Youth In Business’. The program will train Sandtown-Winchester youth ages 12-17 in the art of mosaic tile to create, market, and install unique address signs and flower pots as visible symbols of livability and revitalization in their community and surrounding areas.

The goal of the project is to provide positive employment opportunities for youth; to expose youth to a positive and successful small business enterprise, and to beautify the community.
For more information, please visit Jubilee Arts

2014 Legacy Project:  Wide Angle Youth Media, Photography Workshops & Murals

ACCE_Antrel McDowell with camera-By Douglas

Wide Angle Youth Media is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides Baltimore youth with media education to tell their own stories and become engaged with their communities. Through quality after-school programming, in-school opportunities, summer workshops, community events, and a Traveling Photography Exhibit, Wide Angle supports young people making a difference through media. Since 2000, Wide Angle Youth Media has worked with over 3,750 youth from across Baltimore City who have produced more than 160 films about their lives and communities.

waymyouthlogoBWWith support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) will expand its existing programs to root organizational impact within its local community, creating a permanent connection to the Greater Homewood region and its residents. Partnering with Barclay Elementary/Middle School and the 29th Street Community Center, WAYM will train 30 young people in 5th to 8th grade in photography during the spring. A select group of these youth will be recruited to serve as the Mural Design Team; participating in a 6-8 week mural design workshop. By using images generated during the photography workshops as the foundation for student designs, WAYM will create two permanent, high impact installations: a 4’x 20′ photo-based mural within the 29th Street Community Center and a 32’x 5.5′ painted mural installed on the exterior of the Elementary School.

For more information on Wide Angle Youth Media, please visit www.wideanglemedia.org

2013 Legacy Project:  Station North Tool Library, Public Workshop

PrintStation North Tool Library opened their doors in 2013, with the help of the RW Deutsch Foundation. Their mission is to provide individuals with affordable access to tools; anything from hammers to welders. In the past year, they have developed a thriving tool library. Enthusiasm and support from the community was overwhelming and it quickly became apparent to the SNTL team that access to skills and a workspace was the next thing to address. They submitted their proposal to GMF for the Legacy Grant to develop the public workshop- and after an interview and site visit to the library we knew this was a project GMF would be proud to support.

The Gutierrez Memorial Fund’s Legacy Grant has funded the purchase of the equipment, tooling and facility improvements needed to create a safe and functional workshop. We are proud to announce that the space was finished in June, and the Public Workshop is open and operating! Congratulations to the entire team at Station North Tool Library.

‘Open Shop’ is offered for FREE on Sundays 11am-5pm and Tuesday 5-8pm. Safety classes are $25 and are required for access to the Open Shop. Summer classes included Planter Box Design + Construction, Chef’s Knife Making, Wooden Hula Hoops, and more!

“Thanks so much for the encouragement and support that SNTL imageyou, the board and the Fund have given to our project!!  It is truly mind boggling that this is all happening; there is a real buzz in the space; an underlying vibration that things are developing exactly as they should and in such a positive direction.”

Co-Founder, Piper Watson

To learn more please visit stationnorthtoollibrary.org. Click on Classes/Events to stay in the loop. New classes are developed each season!

2013 Legacy Project:  Access Art, Children’s Umbrella Sculpture


Access Art students creating the images for the Umbrella Sculpture

Access Art is a youth-focused community arts organization based in Morrell Park- and it was their hands-on learning approach that inspired us most. Through artistic expression, students develop social skills, problem solving techniques, and a positive self-image.

In 2010 Access Art transformed an overgrown, trash strewn plot of land on Washington Avenue into a beautiful Memorial Garden. Access Art and Community members cleaned the area and produced a mosaic stone pathway and a Living Wall made of railroad ties and incorporated the hopes and dreams of the community. Access Art requested support from GMF to build on the park’s success- and we agreed whole-heartedly!

GMF’s Legacy Grant is being used to further develop the project by funding the design, construction & installation of the Children’s Umbrella Sculpture- a public art piece, reaching approximately 15 feet high and spanning 11 feet wide. The intent of the sculpture is to expand the reflective space in the garden, while emphasizing the local youth’s role as agents of change and the importance of creating safe space for children.

The team at Access Art created a curriculum based around the theme of “Allies”. They engaged students through a series of creative projects to explore the role of what an ally is, how they can embody the characteristics of an ally, and how an ally can benefit their community, their friends, and themselves.

Umbrella_mockup_3The Children’s Umbrella Sculpture has allowed the youth to further explore this theme. Approximately twenty Access Art students were involved in the planning and creation of the silhouette figures that make up the umbrella’s canopy.

They built on their photography and design skills, and their own fun-loving gestures, to create a lace of ‘Allies’. With the design complete the images will be laid out, cut in metal and construction process will begin. The work is currently in progress and we anticipate installation in the fall. Please stay posted!

 “We are all very grateful and excited about the Children’s Umbrella Sculpture project. Thank you for your confidence in our proposal and partnership with the community. We look forward to working with the Gutierrez Memorial Fund to create something truly uplifting for the community and youth in the neighborhood.” 

Executive Director, Marshall Clarke

For more information on Access Art, please visit  www.accessartmd.org

2012 Legacy Project:  Westside Elementary, Trees of Life

Westside Elementary School: Trees of Life, is a project of ARTblocks, a nonprofit organization based in Hampden that collaborates with Baltimore communities to transform their neighborhoods into vibrant places which reflect their unique character and spirit.  The first step in their approach is ‘creative placemaking’—a visioning tool that enables residents to brainstorm project ideas quickly and expediently. And the second step is to create the project.

Mosaic workshop, little girlWith support from the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, ARTblocks collaborated with Westside Elementary School to transform the schools façade. The project features colorful mosaic tree trunks created by the students, their families and the Mondawmin community. The theme,“Trees of Life”, incorporated symbols that represent the hopes and dreams of the community. The project is currently installed in the entrance hall of the school for all the children to enjoy.

ARTblocks will seek future funding to complete the facade, by creating a living wall- symbolic of the trees canopy, in collaboration with artist, Edmundo Ortega and Westside’s Green Thumb Club.

For more information please visit:  ARTblocks.org

2011 Legacy Project:  The Bench That Gives Apprenticeship

The Bench That Gives Apprenticeship, a project of the Ingoma Foundation, trains individuals from economically disenfranchised communities to produce high quality products, and eventually become cooperative owners of the enterprise.

Photograph by Chris Hartlove

The First Nurture Form Community Bench

This initiative is the first in a series of innovative partnerships designed to create sustainable communities by incubating locally-owned and operated enterprises.  The Bench That Gives Apprenticeship is an artisan training partnership with Gutierrez Studios, recognized for their spectacular design and community commitment.

For more information please visit, TheBenchThatGives.com