The new Art @ Work mural has African roots

The Govans community has unveiled a new mural called “Together Govans”.

By Joshua Moore
Special at AFRO

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) program, Art@Work, held an official unveiling on August 5 in the Govans community for the new mural titled “Together Govans.” The design shows clasped hands to represent unity and care for one another, and an Adinkra symbol, Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan, from the Republic of Ghana in Africa. The image is meant to symbolize love, unity and respect throughout the northeast Baltimore neighborhood.

It’s not the only mural in this Baltimore neighborhood. If anyone were to walk down York Road in northeast Baltimore, they would see many more murals designed by the youth in the program.

Art @ Work is aimed at young adults aged 14 to 21 who are passionate about art and design. The main objective is to introduce them to mentorship, employment in a learning environment and the ability to express themselves through art.

In fact, before the mural was painted, young people went door to door asking Baltimore residents what they would like to see expressed in the mural.

Barbara Hauck, communications manager for BOPA, had great things to say about the unveiling and the people who were affected throughout the process.

The number of people who showed up for the unveiling came as a surprise to Hauck and his team. According to Hauck, there was an estimate of around 50 people who attended the unveiling. Community support has been outstanding.

“There were lots of family members of the young people who painted the mural, community members, business leaders and other government officials,” Hauck said. “It was truly a wonderful and joyful celebration.”

Throughout the six-week Art @ Work program, there are certain phases that young adults must go through. Community engagement, presentation design and creation of the mural itself.

Of the three phases, Hauck said the phase that seemed most enjoyable to young adults was creating the mural. Hauck recalled one student, in particular, who was initially afraid to be on the scaffolding.

“There was a student who received the superlative certificate of passionate painter, and he was the most nervous about that height,” Hauck said. “Once he got up there and started working you couldn’t get him off the scaffolding, he was there every day.”

In addition to introducing young adults and their skills to the community, BOPA also wants to ensure that they learn, grow and develop their skills for future employment.

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