Teacher’s paint­ing of Nice Bridge on dis­play

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

An artist’s work has deeper mean­ing than what’s drawn on the can­vas and lo­cal art teacher Vicki Mar­ckel re­cently used her artis­tic tal­ent to help raise aware­ness of the much-needed re­pairs to Charles County’s Gov. Harry W. Nice Me­mo­rial Bridge.

On June 28, the Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers held a cel­e­bra­tion at the Crain Me­mo­rial Wel­come Cen­ter in New­burg as they un­veiled the paint­ing of the bridge done by Mar­ckel, a lo­cal artist and Henry E. Lackey High School art teacher. The paint­ing now hangs at the wel­come cen­ter next to the bridge and will be seen by the many peo­ple that visit the cen­ter every day.

“Ms. Mar­ckel is a tal­ented artist and teacher,” said Vir­ginia McGraw, Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion chair­woman. “The board val­ues the arts and the in­te­gral part they have in en­hanc­ing learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for our stu­dents. I was hon­ored to at­tend the un­veil­ing of the Harry Nice Bridge paint­ing and proud of the ac­com­plish­ment and recog­ni­tion of Ms. Mar­ckel’s work.”

“Mar­ckel is a great cheer­leader for Charles County and for me hav­ing been there from a blank can­vas to the un­veil­ing of the un­be­liev­able art­work, it was very ex­cit­ing and long awaited mo­ment,” said Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D). “This is the clos­est we are to putting the Harry Nice bridge in a mu­seum, be­cause that’s where it be­longs since the bridge is iconic and ob­so­lete.”

The paint­ing process be­gan on April 30 at Cap­tain Billy’s Crab House restau­rant in New­burg where Mar­ckel hosted a “paint-in” with her art stu­dents, lo­cal res­i­dents and the com­mis­sion­ers, who also drew paint­ings of the bridge to bring at­ten­tion to its needed re­pairs. Mar­ckel, whose other art­work has been com­mis­sioned for Pope Fran­cis, be­gan work­ing on­site to cre­ate a paint­ing of the bridge. Mar­ckel’s stu­dents had their paint­ings hung at the Charles County Gov­ern­ment build­ing on May 26.

“It was won­der­ful and just think­ing about how this pro­ject es­ca­lated from talk­ing to Com­mis­sioner Robin­son about rais­ing aware­ness about the bridge, host­ing the paint-in, and bring­ing all these stu­dents to­gether,” Mar­ckel said. “Just see­ing the evo­lu­tion of how this pro­ject started from one lit­tle idea to hav­ing tons of lo­cal stu­dents and fam­i­lies in­volved, it re­ally ended up be­ing a tremen­dous event.”

Mar­ckel said she typ­i­cally cre­ates her works from photo ref­er­ences or scenery that she has cap­tured, but the process for cre­at­ing this par­tic­u­lar paint­ing was dif­fer­ent and sparked some new cre­ativ­ity in her. First, Mar­ckel mea­sured the space avail­able for the paint­ing at the Crain Me­mo­rial Wel­come Cen­ter and de­signed a can­vas specif­i­cally for that space. She was then able to com­bine it with her love of vivid, rich sun­sets and a great range of color used to cre­ate the wa­ter in the paint­ing.

Mar­ckel said she learned a lot about the Nice bridge dur­ing the process.

“It’s a peace­ful, calm paint­ing that’s so serene and that’s what I think about when I think of South­ern Mary­land, be­cause it’s a hid­den gem,” Mar­ckel said. “Af­ter see­ing all of the com­po­nents come to­gether, I re­ally hope that other peo­ple see South­ern Mary­land as a great vi­brant com­mu­nity that re­ally helps foster one an­other.”

Dur­ing the un­veil­ing of Mar­ckel’s fi­nal pro­ject, the com­mis­sion­ers said they were im­pressed with her tal­ent. The com­mis­sion­ers said the area is in­deed for­tu­nate to have an artist of Mar­ckel’s stature who stays en­gaged in com­mu­nity is­sues.

Robin­son said the paint­ing was a creative way of show­ing off one of the no­table land­marks in Charles County and the com­mu­nity was able to use cre­ativ­ity to spread the word about a se­ri­ous is­sue — but had fun while do­ing it.

“It was great to see the sup­port of the com­mu­nity, the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Charles County Arts Al­liance,” Mar­ckel said. “I was for­tu­nate and blessed to have so many peo­ple peo­ple in­volved and their sup­port for this paint­ing that rep­re­sents South­ern Mary­land. It shows that in­stead of com­plain­ing about an is­sue in our com­mu­nity, we thought about how to use un­con­ven­tional meth­ods to draw at­ten­tion to the is­sues that are im­por­tant to us in our own com­mu­nity.”

The com­mis­sion­ers plan to have Mar­ckel’s paint­ing at the Crain Me­mo­rial Wel­come Cen­ter through­out the sum­mer. They will then of­fer the paint­ing to Mary­land Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) to have it hung in An­napo­lis.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

On June 28, Henry E. Lackey High School arts teacher Vicki Mar­ckel and Charles County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son un­veil Mar­ckel’s paint­ing of the Gov. Harry W. Nice Me­mo­rial Bridge at the Crain Me­mo­rial Wel­come Cen­ter in New­burg.

Henry E. Lackey High School arts teacher Vicki Mar­ckel and the Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers cel­e­brated the un­veil­ing of Mar­ckel’s paint­ing of the Gov. Harry W. Nice Me­mo­rial Bridge at the Crain Me­mo­rial Wel­come Cen­ter in New­burg. From left is Com­mis­sioner Bobby Rucci, Com­mis­sioner Amanda Ste­wart, Mar­ckel, Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son and Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy.

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