Chesapeake Arts Center Mural Project Near Completion
August 9, 2012
For Immediate Release
Mary E. Toth
Chesapeake Arts Center
Mural Project Near Completion
The Reflect on Our Heritage Mural Project has reached its final stage of production. The mural project is a set of five, 15' x 5' panels that tell the visual story of the land, the people, and the industrial past of the Brooklyn Park region. Shawn James, lead artist for the project, has completed four days working with 21 students from the Performing and Visual Arts magnet at Brooklyn Park Middle School. Joining the Brooklyn Park students were a few students from Bates Middle School in Annapolis.
The mural will be mounted on the outside wall of the Chesapeake Arts Center and will be visible to travellers on Hammond Road and to a lesser extent, from Rt. 2, Gov. Ritchie Hwy. It is a project of the Chesapeake Arts Center, which is doing the mural in collaboration with the sixth and seventh grade of the Brooklyn Park Midle School.
Through a series of community discussions, regional historians, and presentations at BPMS, images were selected to tell the history of agriculture, technology, aviation, transportation, education and the maritime past of the area. Among the images on the panels are the old Friendship International Airport; the SS John W. Brown Liberty Ship, one of the cargo ships built at Bethelem Steel and critical to the WWII war effort; and the original Brooklyn Park High School.
Shawn James worked with the students during their summer bridge days, four days of intense work to draw the images on the panels and begin to paint them. Maisha Gillins, principal of BPMS and a board member of Chesapeake Arts Center, called the results of the students' efforts "awe inspiring." Shawn James said that the student's "prior experience definitely showed." He said that "The colors (for the murals) were not predetermined. It's is not easy to mix paints and match colors." Mr. James, whose professional credentials include five years of teaching experience along with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts, praised the students' "deligence to work through the hard parts of the project....and their ability to work together."
A public dedication of the mural will take place in the fall. For information call Lynda McClary, interim executive director at CAC, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-636-6597.
Funding for the project came from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council through the Anne Arundel County Arts Council, the Creston G. Tate & Bety Jane Tate Foundation, and individual donations.