Tom Chalkley sent me a message recently about his upcoming cartoon cartography show of illustrated maps. This is what he wrote:
The Hamilton Gallery has kindly anointed me as their Guest Artist of the month - so I'm putting up a highly informal show of my illustrated maps -- samples from Baltimore (of course) and various spots around the U.S. Magazine illustrations, tee-shirt designs, community promotions, tour maps and commercial items, as well as my insanely obsessive Ultimate Cartoon Map of Baltimore. Should be an entertaining exhibit.
For your entertainment, Bob Friedman and I -- The PATAPSCO DELTA BOYS -- will be on hand with a couple sets of folk blues, rags, jugband tunes, proto-C&W songs (like Jimmie Rodgers) and other scruffy guitar/harmonica/vocal songs from the rural blues tradition.
In my own words, this sounds like fun and a rare chance to see a body of Tom's work all in one spot. I look forward to attending the opening reception and expect it may offer one of the best holiday shopping opportunties of the season! Here are details to date for the Opening Reception:
6:30 to 8:30 pm, Friday December 7
Hamilton Arts Community Gallery, 5502 Harford Road, Baltimore 21214
Tom is an artist with historic perspective whose Great Wall of Waverly Mural provides those passing by the Olmsted Green at 33rd and Greenmount with colorful rich images of urban village life. When the paint dried, the mural was celebrated with everyone singing new lyrics by Art Cohen to a Woody Guthrie song that began: This wall is your wall,/this wall is my wall...
He is very modest about alll the contributions he has made to the community. One that I will not forget is the illustration he gave to Waverly Main Street when we were organing a parade down Greenmount Avenue. That cartoon got modified to fit many events, including Walking Waverly and Waverly Wonderland. He provided many great cartoon images for a North Baltimore coloring book and a snappy map that rests on the Olsted Green historic marker celebrating old and new Waverly Village.
His featured illustrations include a wonderful one called Clean Harbor showing very nicely how storm water pollutes our local waterways.
His Ultimate Cartoon Map of Baltimore poster is a celebration of the people, history, culture, and landscape of Charm City, including caricatures of 176 noted Baltimoreans, living and dead, and other notables whose stories are signficantly entwined with Baltimore's history-- plus over 40 caricatures of landmark buildings and structures.
It is worth going to see just who and what make it onto the map!
To see more of his many images, visit http://www.tomchalk.com/
Tom is also a good researcher, a fine reporter and gifted writer. Just look at a couple of his City Paper pieces posted online:
Harbor Next - The Homely Middle Branch is Set to Become An Urban Ecotopia (But Don't Talk to Speculators, and Don't Touch the Water) posted online at the City Paper 1/25/2006
Oh Sheila - A liberal's lament for what might have been posted online at the City Paper 1/13/2010
Tom was commissioned by The Maryland Humanities Council to create a cartoon map described in a MD Humanities Update:
Debuting at the 2007 Baltimore Book Festival, the Literary Mount Vernon walking tour guides bibliophiles and history buffs alike to the sites in Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon Cultural District where literary luminaries from the past lived, worked, or played. Featuring cleverly interpreted caricatures by Baltimore artist Tom Chalkley, the self-guided tour also includes a delightful map of Mount Vernon that highlights the locations associated with the many famous literary figures-such as Gertrude Stein, Henry James, Upton Sinclair, and of course, the infamous Edgar Allan Poe-who sojourned, passed through, or were educated in the area.
That cartoon map is now featured in an interactive web version at
I hope by 2014 he will have come out with a star-spangled illustrated cartoon and map spotlighting the Battle of Baltimore, Bombardment of Fort McHenry and Defense of the Chesapeake in celebrating of our War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration.