In the early 1990s, when Towson was known as Towson State University and many of its current students were just being born, Mike Apichella and a group of his friends were creating art under the moniker Towson-Glen Arm. Though Apichella himself was not part of Towson University, he knew several other artists going here.
Now, years later, Apichella is in the midst of finishing his collection of the art from the 90s.
Under the name of Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts, it is a mixture of art, literature and music that he and his friends worked on from 1992 to 1997.
The art originated from areas such as Glen Arm, Pikesville, Jacksonville, Timonium and, of course, Towson.
It all started with a simple idea after a man named John Woodstock started compiling pieces from Apichella and his friends’ bands.
“I was thinking ‘what if there was like a whole series of things and it wasn’t just, you know, our bands? What if it was all of our friends’ bands? Like including bands that none of us even played in,” Apichella said.
Unfortunately, for a few years, it was pushed into the background, mostly due to personal life and other creative projects Apichella said.
“After a long time, I guess it came to the point where I just realized, you know, I traveled around a lot sharing my creative work with people and stuff like that. Basically, like, I’ve been everywhere and never really had seen or experienced or heard quite like what happened when Towson-Glen Arm was going on,” he said.
Then, within a few years, Apichella started the compilation, desiring to represent the 90s era as he experienced it through Towson-Glen Arm.
Apichella described the art itself as just very unusual, due to the heavy political influence many of the artists looked to.
Many were involved with homosexual rights and animal rights, and several were vegan or vegetarian.
“I think basically the gist of it is … everything was framed between this context of a battle between good and evil, with good being everyone who was far left spectrum,” Anichella said. “Evil being extreme conservatives or moderates even. That’s really what it’s all about, kind of showing how it was unique and very much in its own world, almost out of time.”
Marquia Langford, a senior and IT major at Towson said that it would be interesting to see political views portrayed through art.
“I think we’re losing touch with our creativity in a way, our generation,” she said. “The way we interact with politics is more with social media than with art and stuff like that. So yeah, I definitely think it’s a cool young way.”
Langford is not the only one intrigued, though. Freshman and computer science major, Bruno Frigerio said he would like to check out the collection as well.
“It’s always good to learn, it’s always good to know what was wrong in the past and what was right in the past,” Frigerio said.
Apichella said he hopes that Towson students can draw influence from the compilation, just as he and his friends drew influence from different sources back then.
“I want them and really anybody to see sometimes in any era, whether it’s the 90s or the 80s, that there’s always going to be voices that are dissenting,” Apichella said.
Apichella is selling his collection in several stores around Baltimore, including Record & Tape Traders located right in Towson.
Profits go to the charities Grass Roots Crisis and Music4More.