The Baltimore Architecture Foundation and the rest of Baltimore’s art and design community all lost a remarkable friend and colleague last week. John Gutierrez, or “Guti” as many of us knew him, was a man who believed in the importance of art and architecture in our daily lives. His was an enormous personality, infused with warmth and a zest for life that he freely shared with anyone he met. Guti is to be credited with transforming our Groundhog Day Celebration from a modest get together with like minded friends into a major event, capable of raising significant funds for pursuing the mission of the Foundation. I will always remember the “A-Ha!” moment that came to me during that party at his studio in Woodberry four years ago, and I know many of you will too. He single-handedly raised the profile of Groundhog Day, and we shall never forget it.
Guti’s generosity of spirit was always evident to those who came into contact with him. It has continued in the form of his request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, as well as the Ingoma Foundation, through the Fusion Partnership. This organization participates in a manufacturing apprenticeship partnership with Gutierrez Studios that trains individuals from disenfranchised communities to produce high quality products. I am honored that John thought so highly of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation that he would include us in such company.
Finally, I want everyone to know that friends and family are invited to celebrate his life at the center of his artistic endeavors, Gutierrez Studios in Clipper Mill tonight, Monday, March 1, 2010 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. I look forward to remembering this giant of the Baltimore Art world with many of the other people who’s lives he has touched.
John Kennedy Gutierrez
20 March 1964 – 25 February 2010
Parking will be difficult, so traveling via Light Rail is suggested. If you are driving, check the upper lot (the entrance is just past the main entrance to Clipper Mill) or the streets above the mill. Cocktails will be from 6:00 – 7:00 after which there will be a few speakers and a candle lighting.
J. Eric Lowe
Baltimore Architecture Foundation
p.s. Jacques Kelly’s obituary for John Gutierrez is here.