Julia Lieberman and her two-year-old daughter had been searching for ways to remain entertained during the coronavirus outbreak. With the closure of public areas throughout the state, they, like most families, have been doing all work and learning activities from home.
A teacher herself, Lieberman had been researching projects to do with both her daughter and her students when she discovered the viral trend of hanging artwork in windows through social media. Hanging rainbows, an initiative that started in the United Kingdom, has sparked a global response all over the world. People are now putting teddy bears, sculptures, and other creative works up on display from inside their homes.
Thinking that it was the perfect opportunity to keep both kids and adults in the Hampden community active, she organized the first Outdoor Museum Art Walk last Friday. “I had no idea people would be so excited about it,” Lieberman says.
Through the Hampden Neighbors Facebook page, she is encouraging people to hang artwork in their windows that face the street, so that the community can browse them like an outdoor gallery.
“With little ones it’s great to be able to walk around,” Lieberman says. “Since we can’t go to the park anymore, it’s nice to say to my daughter that we’re going to go look for art in the windows. It’s like a scavenger hunt.”
A sampling of portraits hung throughout the neighborhood.
Courtesy of Julia Lieberman
While large gatherings are still prohibited in Baltimore, the project gives people a reason to go outside while still practicing social distancing. “It’s a great way to stay engaged with people without actually being with them,” Lieberman says.
The community is sharing pictures in the Facebook group constantly, and the hope is that more participants join in each week. Especially during these difficult times, Lieberman hopes that creating art will provide an outlet for others, as it does for her.
“For kids it can be a trying, scary, depressing time,” she says, adding that creative outlets are important to maintain for everyone, not just parents and their children.
Lieberman also emphasizes that this doesn’t have to stop once things eventually go back to normal. She hopes that people will continue to participate at their own pace, and will wait and see how the neighborhood maintains the project in the future.
“I hope it gives people something to look forward to,” she says. “It can become part of a routine at a time when routine has been thrown out the window.”