After a little more than a year of serving as creative leader of the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation-owned Motor House arts space in Station North, Andre Mazelin has left his post as its artistic director.
In an interview Monday, Mazelin said he’s “not at liberty to say why,” though he plans to post a statement on social media soon.
Moving forward, he plans to stay busy in Baltimore’s creative circles. “I want to continue working for the arts as I have before Motor House, and hope to get some other projects going with some other folks.”
“And I wish them the best,” he added.
In an emailed statement, Motor House managing director Cassandra Miller (who, full disclosure, is a freelancer for Baltimore Fishbowl) said, “Andre left Motor House two weeks ago, as the organization is moving in a new direction that involves more of Baltimore’s creative community.”
“We are planning to engage a cohort of event curators specializing in a variety of disciplines to create a diverse schedule of free and ticketed music, comedy, theater, spoken word, film, dance and DJ events,” she said. “We wish Andre nothing but the best, and hope that his work at Motor House has well positioned him for future projects.”
BARCO last summer tapped Mazelin to be the artistic director for the venue it’d built out of the former DIY space Load of Fun (and before that, an auto showroom) at 120 W. North Ave. He’s been a figure in the city’s arts scene for many years, having served as operations director for the Creative Alliance in Highlandtown for a decade and been an advocate for the arts here for even longer.
At the time he was hired to helm Motor House, he also owned The Room, a fair-trade coffee shop, bar and community space on St. Paul Street (formerly home to Red Emma’s) that regularly hosted events like readings, open mics and speaker series geared toward Baltimore’s artists and creatives.
But Mazelin closed The Room abruptly after last Halloween, several months after stepping into his gig at Motor House. In a Facebook post announcing the sudden closure, he said his platform for arts advocacy had grown, and he wanted to focus all of his attention on the venue.
Another business, Melody Café, has since taken over the basement space at 800 St. Paul St.
In an interview with Baltimore Fishbowl in September 2017, Mazelin, who moved to the United States from Jamaica as a child, explained why he decided to settle here after living and working in other major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Miami and New York. “I thought it was really special,” he said.
“I like the fact that it is so unpretentious. Art is very accessible here. There is a common theme of ‘we’re doing this shit on our own’ in this city, which I like, because that’s how I was.”
This story has been updated.