Creators of updated mural at Bates Athletic Complex had goal of helping bring community together
“With the impact I have, I would like to use my artwork and skills to bridge the gap, and I feel like it is a message that needs to be spoken in a time like this right now.”
— Artist Comacell Brown
Atwist has been added to an original piece painted in 2013 around the track at the Bates Athletic Complex with a new mural project, “One Annapolis.” The new addition to the campus is a re-imagining of the piece originally painted by Jovenes Artistas (young artists), a part of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts’ outreach team composed of Bates Middle School students.
The original mural featured a turquoise background with black silhouettes of the artists. One artist was shown pulling open a door with the universe pouring out of it. Along the bottom read: “Art is el lenguaje universal” (Art is the universal language).
Now eight years later, Jovenes Artistas has teamed up with Jeff Huntington’s and Julia Gibb’s Future History Now, Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ performing and visual arts magnet program under the direction of Emily Miller, and artists Comacell Brown and Deonte Ward to create a one-of-a-kind collaborative piece representing “One Annapolis.”
Laura Brino, an outreach coordinator for Maryland Hall, said she put together the collaboration of artists to bring the art community closer together.
“It is difficult doing collaborations and putting aside egos for the betterment of the youth. It was an idea that I really wanted to do together,” Brino said. “This is the first step.”
Brino wanted the mural to celebrate what’s happening in the community now.
The mural features mostly blackand-white imagery with some splashes of color throughout. The original
words are found below: “Art is el lenguaje universal.” The Jovenes Artistas portion of the mural has large figures paying homage to the original silhouettes, along with a collection of images pouring out across the piece.
Brown, a multidisciplinary artist from Annapolis, has worked on many murals around Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. He said as long as it is a positive message, then he is all for adding more artwork to walls. On Brown’s part of the wall, which is the last part, he painted, “Bridging the gap.”
“With the impact I have, I would like to use my artwork and skills to bridge the gap, and I feel like it is a message that needs to be spoken in a time like this right now,” he said. “It was amazing seeing this come together piece by piece. We didn’t know what each other was doing.”
Brown said the wall tells a great story and gives students of Bates Middle and nearby Maryland Hall the chance to read inspiring messages daily.
Elizabeth Melvin, a former outreach coordinator for Maryland Hall, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday and checked out the corresponding exhibit in the Martino Gallery, featuring the story of the mural along with individual pieces by the artists.
“I knew of the wall being painted, and I was interested in the transformation. I wanted to see the end results, and I was not disappointed,” Melvin said. “It is absolutely beautiful and very moving.”
Melvin said the new mural is uplifting for the community and a symbol of the different cultures in the city and the county.
“This celebrates collaborations between young, old, different races and points of views,” she added. “We face a lot of challenges in this county, and this is a way to solve some of those problems by coming together.”