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Art @ Work is a five-week mural artist apprenticeship program for Baltimore City youths enrolled in the YouthWorks program. Young people ages 14–21 are hired to work under lead teaching artists and artist interns to create beautification projects throughout their neighborhoods. Art @ Work aims to introduce youths to career opportunities in the arts, offer gainful employment in a positive learning environment and to provide young people with the tools to express themselves through the arts, while engaging and creating public art in their communities.
In 2021, a new mural was created by the Govans Guardians team. Lead Artist Iandry Randriamandroso and Artist Intern Desiree Thaniel mentored Youth Apprentices Kiyan Reid, Antoine Padonou, Jamya Edwards, Sherrill Richardson, Amelia Henry, Nukieah Brooks, and Kashae White to implement the mural, titled “Together Govans.”The mural art design features clasped hands to represent togetherness and care for each other, and an Adinkra symbol, Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan, from the Republic of Ghana in Africa. The Adinkra symbol, Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan means, “Love does not lose its way home.” Those who are led by love always end up in the right place. A heart design centered in the mural symbolizes the love that the community shares with each other. A vibrant color palette was used to increase visibility and draw attention the artwork.
2019 Communities: Govans and Baybrook The 2019 lead artists include Megan Lewis, Iandry Randriamandroso, S. Rasheem, and Ernest Shaw. Art @ Work 2019 is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with YouthWorks, Greater Baybrook Alliance, and Loyola University Maryland’s York Road Initiative, and supported by the Department of Planning’s INSPIRE, John J. Leidy Foundation, and RBC Wealth Management. Special thanks to Curtis Bay Elementary/Middle School, Farring-Baybrook Recreation Center, and Walter J Dewees Recreation Center.
Watch teens reflect on their experience here: https://youtu.be/vHkPk9zyPYU
Art @ Work, the five-week mural artist apprenticeship program for Baltimore City youth enrolled in the city’s Youthworks Baltimore program, employs young people ages 14-21 to work under lead teaching artists to create highly visible community artworks throughout their neighborhood. Additionally, Art@Work introduces youth to career opportunities in the arts, offers gainful employment in a positive learning environment and provides youth with the tools to express themselves through the arts, all while beautifying their community. Lead teaching artists for Art@Work 2018 are: Dalvin Byron, Megan Lewis, LaToya Peoples, Iandry Randriamandroso, S. Rasheem and Ernest Shaw.
In 2017, the Art @ Work program was located in both the Waverly and Reservoir Hill and created 85 youth jobs, employed 16 professional artists and artist assistants, engaging over 40 local, state, and national partners, and generating eight new public artworks.
Eight professional teaching artists were hired to lead teams of eleven youth workers through the entire process of conceiving, designing, and creating a public art project within their community. The youth participants worked alongside professional artists Julie Anne Horton, Latoya Peoples, Megan Lewis, S. Rasheem, Gary A Mullen, Iandry Randriamandroso, Ernest Shaw Jr., and Michael A Thomas Sr.
1. Waverly Crab House - 3400 Greenmount Ave
Lead Artist: Mike Thomas
Artist Assistants: Najee Haynes-Follins & Jimmy Li
This mural is designed to support an important and thriving business in Waverly, the mural features colorful, eye-catching images of crabs, fish and shrimp, all sold at the Waverly Crab House.
2. Learn, Grow, Evolve - 3198 Old York Road
Lead Artist: Megan Lewis
Artist Assistant: Kenneth Clemons
While gathering information from the community, residents talked about the past, present, and future of Waverly. Community members commented about witnessing change, but wanted to see more. The artists determined that in order to see change you must evolve. In order to evolve, you must learn and grow. A Black woman is depicted as the narrator that represents the comforter and healer. She is leading the way, as she carries the culture of her community and wears it proudly. Follow her lead and evolve.
3. The Dreamer - Waverly ACE Hardware, 601 Homestead Street
Lead Artist: Latoya Peoples
Artist Assistant: Jerome Chester
The mural depicts a youth in deep contemplation about the Waverly neighborhood. His thoughts are represented by colorful shapes, where scenes of Waverly through time are superimposed. The mural shows some of the rich history of Old Victorian Waverly on the left, a transition through to the present, and a road leading to a bright future!
4. Talking Hands - The Book Thing, 3001 Vineyard Lane
Lead Artist: Iandry Randriamandroso
Artist Assistant: Giulia Livi
This mural represents the many sentiments expressed from local residents during community interviews. The artists also wanted to promote The Book Thing of Baltimore, an organization that allows people to receive free books to further their knowledge and education. In the design, they used letters from the American Sign Language alphabet to spell out the words “BOOK THING” and utilized the palms of the hands as a vehicle to share key themes from their community conversations with mural viewers.
1. Cloverdale Park - Harrison Sykes Brown Playground, Corner of Druid Hill Avenue & Druid Lake Drive
Lead Artist: Ernest Shaw
Artist Assistant: Dalvin Wade Byron
For the past 60 years, Cloverdale Recreation Center has served as a staple of support in West Baltimore for ages 7-75. Ernest’s team wishes to create a mural that expresses the joy that the game of basketball can bring to a community.
2. Break Through - German Park, 2411 Linden Ave
Lead Artist: Julie Horton
Artist Assistant: Jache Haynie
The Break Through mural is inspired by the sentiments of many Reservoir Hill neighbors. It depicts symbols of youth, potential, inspiration, hope, love, and growth. At certain points of the mural, the design shows a crack and breaks open - only to reveal more beauty beyond the layer. Like a tree that grows from a vacant building, the greenery that surrounds our mural is an ode to the ideas of good, life, and new growth. Nature, like love, always finds a way.
3. Dark Matter - 2524 Brookfield Ave
Lead Artist: S. Rasheem
Artist Assistants: Melku Tafari & Emma Derr
The mural depicts a combination of African American culture, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysticism that reimagines Black artists in the future. It celebrates artists as creators, keepers, and innovators of culture.
4. Whitelock - Tune Up City, 701 Whitelock Street
Lead Artist: Gary Mullen
Artist Assistant: Liz Angellatta
The mural depicts the beautiful community of Reservoir Hill in the early days. The artist came up with the design using input from the community and the building owners. History, music, and the image of an old car were used to help communicate the different uses of the Tune Up City building.
Art @ Work, the five-week mural artist apprenticeship program for Baltimore City youth enrolled in YouthWorks, returned for a second summer in 2016 with Art @ Work: Upton. In addition to working alongside professional artists to create murals and mosaics in their community, youth from the Upton area participated in professional development and skill-building workshops led by various local organizations. Launched as a pilot program in Summer 2015 through a partnership between the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and Jubilee Arts, Art @ Work employed dozens of youth from the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in its inaugural year.
Eight teams comprised of a lead artist, an artist intern, and ten youth apprentices created public art projects along the Pennsylvania Avenue cultural corridor at sites including the Shake & Bake Family Fun Center, The Avenue Market, Sissy’s Seafood, Lafayette Market, Crazy Beauty Mart, Etting & Wilson Park, Eutaw Marshburn Elementary School and the 1900 block of Division street. The lead artists are Julie Horton, Ignacio Mariño Larrique, Megan Lewis, Herb Massie, Gary Mullen, Iandry Randriamandroso, Ernest Shaw, Jr. and Mike Thomas. Each team led the entire mural making process, from canvassing community residents for design inspiration, to public design presentations, to conducting trolley tours of their finished projects.
“I appreciate the energy and optimism embodied in the Art @ Work initiative in the Upton/Avenue Market area,” said Robert Thomas, executive director of the Baltimore Public Markets Corp. “These young artists are developing their talents while learning the more comprehensive soft skills of community engagement. If ever there was a time for positive youthful engagement in the life of the Upton community and of the Avenue Market in particular, that time is now.”
Beyond the paint and tile, each youth apprentice also participated in financial literacy workshops led by the Baltimore CASH Campaign, professional development workshops led by HIBRED Workforce Solutions, leadership development workshops led by the No Boundaries Coalition, Youth As Resources and BUILD, as well as zine-making workshops led by local pop-culture journalist Jordannah Elizabeth.
Art @ Work: Upton is produced in partnership by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and Jubilee Arts and made possible through the generous support of The Abell Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Youth Works, National Endowment for the Arts Art Works, Morton K and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, Baltimore Department of Housing & Community Development, Baltimore City Summer Food Service Program, Baltimore City Recreation & Parks, University of Baltimore, Avenue Market, Shake & Bake Family Fun Center, and Charlestown Retirement Community.
For more information on Art @ Work: Upton, visit: jubileeartsbaltimore.org, view the Art @ Work: Upton Final Report or call the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts at 410-752-8632 or Jubilee Arts at 410-728-1199.
About the Artists:
Ernest Shaw, Jr.
Artist Ernest Shaw, Jr. was born and has lived most of his life in Baltimore, Maryland. Shaw comes from a family of visual and performing artists. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morgan State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University. He has previously painted murals for Open Walls Baltimore II and the Baltimore Mural Program.
Gary Mullen is an award-winning artist who received a degree in graphic design from Morgan State University. He has studied the genius works of Pablo Picasso and fell in love with his style of art called Synthetic Cubism. Mullen has painted murals in Baltimore City and his works have appeared in magazines, newspapers and television.
Raised in Sandtown-Winchester, Herb Massie is a self-taught community-based mosaic artist and sculptor. He currently serves as the director of community engagement for Baltimore Clayworks. In 2016, Massie was awarded the Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate Award by the Maryland Citizens for the Arts.
Iandry Randriamandroso is a muralist and a graphic and community artist. He specializes in graphic and mixed media art‐making that focuses on environmental and social subjects. He uses his artworks as educational tools to facilitate inclusive and hands‐on presentations, community arts workshops, art classes and mural projects in public and private venues around the United States.
Ignacio Mariño Larrique
Ignacio Mariño Larrique is a Uruguayan Miami-based artist with 17 years of experience in the arts field. He likes to work with the community by creating customized holistic art works, specializing in murals and symbolism.
Julie Horton was born in Zanesville, Ohio. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Art Education from Ohio University. She is a visual artist, teacher, and advocate for social justice currently living and working in Baltimore, Maryland.
Megan Lewis is a professional illustrator. Utilizing various mediums, she aims to create works of art that focus upon stories that reflect a critical view of social, historical and culture issues. Lewis is a freelance artist living in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
Born with a physical disability due to an accident at birth, Mike Thomas was born in raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He later moved to Baltimore to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education. After receiving his degree, he has remained in Baltimore and been a teacher, coach, mentor and working artist for the past 25 years. He is also the owner and art instructor at Artlee Studio in Baltimore, Maryland.
Click here to see where each mural is located.