Anne Arundel County is adding to its reputation as an outdoor destination and has recently seen a surge in outdoor art around the City. With the ever-expanding opportunities to see the work of talented artists on what used to be ugly blank walls, Annapolis is in the midst of an urban beautification. The area’s recent mural additions and those that are in the works, provide vistas ranging from simple beauty to complex history lessons.
Finding Flowers in Bloom in Winter
John Iaquinta and Kim Breton Iaquinta, directors of Langton Green Community Farm, which provides vocational training to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, were looking for a way to carry a view of summer over into fall and winter.
One of Annapolis’s most talented muralists, Cindy Fletcher Holden, had been teaching art classes at the farm prior to the pandemic, and the owners turned to her for help. She designed two murals that really pop against the fallow fall fields at the farm’s entrance near Millersville. It is their hope to eventually open the farm to the public and sell their produce direct to the customer.
The residents of the Severna Park community of Cape Arthur wanted a way to showcase their community’s waterfront setting. Cindy provided this glorious mural of sea, sand, and sun, located at the Cape Arthur playground.
Surprisingly and in a sign of strong community spirit, one day when Cindy arrived at the site to paint, there were dozens of girls from the neighborhood lined up to help.
A Short Walk through Three Centuries
Future History Now, (FHN) under the direction of one of the group’s founders, the amazing artist Jeff Huntington, is designing the Kids Making History Mural Tour. The KMH tour will maximize sightseers’ appreciation of FHN’s murals, which capture the history of the US and Annapolis. The young artists from underserved neighborhoods who painted the murals will provide the recorded narration of the tour.
The John Lewis mural at 95 West Street honors Lewis and other activists who led the Selma to Montgomery marches over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.
Your Vote Is Your Voice
This mural represents one of America’s most powerful popular movements that will continue to resonate for decades to come.
The mural is entitled, “Mary Church Terrell: Key Pioneer in the Intersectional Movements for Civil Rights and Suffrage”. Completed this year, it is located in the Banneker-Douglass Museum.
Remembering the Star
FHN is prolific in murals around Annapolis as demonstrated in the Star Theater Mural Project in collaboration with Stanton Center youth. It was completed last year at Calvert & Northwest Streets and pays tribute to the Star Theater, the only African American movie theater in Anne Arundel County from 1926 until it closed in 1965.
The mural highlights the old Star marquee; Joseph “Jake” Levin and Levin’s Store, which was located on the next block; and a 1920s era map of this location.
More on the Way
Thankfully, with a supportive city government, including its Art in Public Places Commission, the transformation of Annapolis into an outdoor art gallery will continue at a steady pace. The City’s new art initiatives are gaining national attention, as in the case of the Breonna Taylor Mural in Chambers Park. The future is bright and the surge in outdoor art in Annapolis is far from over.
Read this newsletter from Mayor Gavin Buckley to find out what other murals are slated for approval.