First it was the Bell Foundry being closed on Dec. 5. Then it was Studio 14 a month ago. Now, some are worried for the future of affordable artist spaces in Baltimore.

Both locations were closed due to fire code restrictions and lack of proper permits following the horrible fire at The Ghost Ship, a warehouse-turned-artist space in Oakland, California.

Mayor Catherine Pugh's Artist Spaces Task Force is working on solutions that will provide adequate spaces for artists following the closure of those two properties. The task force has held three meetings so far and is hoping to have recommendations for how the city can facilitate these spaces within six months, according to the task force's co-chair, Jon Laria, a partner at the law firm of Ballard Spahr specializing in real estate and land use work within the city.

The group's meetings so far, he said, have included a number of those from the artist community who are not officially in the task force.

"I think the fact that we've had meetings that have been very open and kind of free-wheeling, frankly, has been very helpful," Laria said.


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