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Cicada Parade-a art project unleashing big bugs in Baltimore

Posted at 4:23 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 17:20:38-04

BALTIMORE — “Some of these I could just look at for hours.”

Michael Bowman’s Upper Fells Point backyard is filled with hundreds of cicadas, but they are made of plaster. Artists and community members come and pick them up and transform them into beautiful works of art and then display them across town.

"When you start seeing the quality of the pieces coming back, you just see all the talent," said Bowman.

Organized by the Formstone Castle Collective it’s called Cicada Parade-a: celebrating the re-emergence of Brood X after 17 years.

Bowman came up with the idea for this large scale collaborative art project last year.

He started with a goal of 50 bugs but things really took off.

"With support of some of our sponsors we were able to keep it growing and now we are up to 370 bugs,” said Bowman.

They will be on display in Baltimore and the surrounding area.

“As far out as the Pennsylvania line, Frederick, White Marsh, the Avenue in White Marsh is gonna get a bunch of them, and then Linthicum,” said Bowman. “I’m doing a lot of the installs, just I want to have them up safe. When they are in public places, that’s really critical, especially being hung overhead. We don’t want them to clunk anyone on the head."

Jon Zerivitz with Union Craft Brewing, stopped by to pick up six Tuesday. He’s going to distribute them to the businesses of the Union Collective to decorate.

“I actually want to cover ours with our beer cans so all aluminum cans,” said Zerivitz.

The themes of transformation and re-emergence hitting home for a lot of artists and business owners taking part.

“We’ve all been kind of hiding underground for the last year, and now we are kind of crawling out of our holes and coming back to life and so I think it’s a beautiful expression of getting back out there in the world,” said Zerivitz.

The bugs will be up through labor day and then Bowman hopes to be able to turn the project into a fundraiser.

Click here for the map of bugs currently installed.