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Where’s Marty? Jazzing up the salt boxes on TV Hill

By MARTY BASS

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hi Everyone!

Last week, to end the year, K2 and I took you back to what we thought were our most interesting places of 2022. Today we start 2023 with a week of the most interesting people we visited last year. And at the TOP of the list was Juliet Ames.

Juliet is an artist who designs jewelry out of broken ceramic. Really cool items that for over 15 years have brought folks into her Hampden studio. (Matter of fact let me give you Juliet’s website now, and ask you to surf by to see her great work.

But 2 years ago when Ames decided her neighborhood Salt Box needed some “makeup,” a wave of Charm City civic pride began. The Salt Box art project as I call it. And the rest is history.

The Salt Box. Painted safety yellow, and filed with a combo of rock salt and sand are placed around to help cars get traction on slick hilly streets. These boxes are a fixture of Winter in Baltimore. Over 300 have been “prettied up” so far capturing the heart of neighborhoods, the kitsch of Charm City, and some of the more recognizable folk in the world of media and sport.

And to this day no one has given permission for this art to be placed on the boxes. No one has said stop either. The art is on a false front and simply screwed into the framework of each box.

For our catch-up with Juliet Ames, we suggested coming up to TV Hill where we have, out of need, 3 Salt Boxes that have seen better days. Or as Juliet likes to say, “need some makeup.”

Ever the artist, she suggested a tribute to the movie Hairspray, which was based off of a teen dance program shown on WJZ in the 60’s called, “The Buddy Deane Show.” now the heroine of “Hairspray” Tracy Turnblad greets employees and visitors pulling into our parking lot.

Julie then suggests a tribute to WJZ’s most famous alum – Oprah Winfrey. Oprah’s time in Baltimore, in my opinion, is where this legend’s persona, and career, really began to take wings. Julie painted Oprah as she would have been seen on the set of “People are Talking” with co-host Richard Sher.

Oprah has been awarded everything but a Nobel Prize. I choose to believe that Oprah would appreciate the tribute from Julie, and Julie herself. Welcome home “O”!

The third box subject she let K2 pick, and this one was installed after the show. He chose one made of real Legos that looks like a, well, Salt Box front. It is so subtle and so fun to be honest. LEGO”S! Classic.

Tomorrow we revisit a sharp guy. It is as simple of an explanation as that! See ya then.

Marty B!

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