I first went to Baltimore two years ago on Easter. Mothers and daughters were out in their Sunday best walking past Freddy Sam’s mural. The mother asked her daughter what she thought the artist was painting, as the work was still in progress. Without realizing that the artist was working next to her, she replied, “hopefully something better than what’s there now.”

These simple words underscore the core mission of Open Walls Baltimore, the street art festival now in its second year. In a town with numerous vacant or slumlord-owned spaces, co-founders Gaia and Nanook aim to give the city something that looks better "than what's there now."  Read on.