Art @ Work launched its pilot program in the summer of 2015 by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The arts in partnership with Jubilee Arts in the neighborhood of Sandtown. It’s a five week program that brings together Baltimore City youth who are enrolled in the YouthWorks program and master teaching artists, to create 8 murals and mosaics throughout a selected neighborhood in Baltimore City. Art @ Work 2016 is taking place in the neighborhood of Upton, running from June 27th-July 29th.
The program not only offers the youth of Baltimore career opportunities and an introduction to employment in the arts, but it also gives participants an opportunity to express themselves through art in a positive environment, while at the same time working to beautify and enhance their community.
Youth participants will work in 8 groups of 10 alongside one professional artists and one intern, to canvas the neighborhood, develop designs, present their design proposals to the public, and bring their design ideas to fruition. The youth apprentices also receive soft skills in workforce development and financial literacy training, as well as leadership development in areas like public speaking, community activism, interview preparation, and resume writing. Thus Art @ Work also aims to help prepare and train participants to enter and flourish in the workforce.
In its inaugural year, Art @ Work employed 80 of Baltimore youths, ages 14-21, and created 9 spectacular murals and mosaics in the neighborhood of Sandtown, under the apprenticeship of the master teaching artists. This year, 8 professional artists have been selected for the Upton program, many of whom are returnees from last summer, as well as some new faces, each Master with their own distinct and exciting artistic style.
Ernest Shaw, one of the Master Teachers from the summer 2015 program in Sandtown, is excited and enthusiastic to come back this summer, and to have the opportunity to participate in such a successful and rewarding program once again.
Shaw’s artwork is a creative endeavor to accurately reflect his upbringing and education in a visual way, and to grapple with the portrayal of African Americans in our society. Much of his art specifically works combat negative images and stereotypes of African people throughout the diaspora. “My mission and purpose is to illustrate the beauty of being an African in America while maintaining truthfulness and authenticity in the process.” A native to West Baltimore, Shaw is an experienced painter and muralist, who’s impressive, expressive, and vibrant works can be seen throughout his home city.
Gary Mullen, Mullen, another returning master teacher is an award winning artist who studied graphic design at Morgan State, Mullen refers to his unique panting style as Synthetic Cubism, which he developed through the study of genius artists like Pablo Picasso. Mullen has painted several public murals throughout Baltimore City, which have been praised in The Baltimore Sun and other publications over the years.
Last summer, Mullen greatly enjoyed being able to help the youth of Baltimore grow a deeper appreciation for art, as well as helping them improve their painting skills.
Herb Massie another returning Master Teacher and lifelong resident of Baltimore City, is a self-taught community based mosaic artist and sculptor. As director of community engagement for Baltimore Clayworks, and recipient of this years Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year Award, Massie has coordinated, led, and participated in several community art projects in and around the city including, Discovering Community: The History of East Baltimore and The Parkway Community mural, among others.
Best known for his mosiacs and claywork, he is also a seasoned and celebrated teacher in art-making all around Baltimore.
Iandry Randriamandroso, a Baltimore resident originally from Madagascar, is a muralist and community artist, specializing in graphic and mixed media art-making which focuses on subjects pertaining to the environment and social issues.
He has worked with Baltimore office of Promotion of the Arts before, both as a Master artist in last years Art @ Work program, and as the selected artist for the Bmore Birds Project, for which he created several large scale public murals depicting the local birds of Maryland.
Randriamandroso works to use art as an educational tool to facilitate inclusive and hands on presentation, and creates works that are accessible to everyone and engage the community.
Ignacio Mariño Larrique is Uruguayan a Miami based artist who specializes in murals and symbolism. He engages the community in his art by creating customized holistic art works.
Mariño Larrique has also worked as a painting teacher and a volunteer artist, working to improve cities and public buildings by creating vibrant and intricate murals on their facades.
Julie Anne Horton is a visual artist, teacher, and social justice advocate currently living and working in Baltimore. She came to Baltimore to study painting at the Hoffberger School Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received her Master of Fine arts Degree
Megan Lewis, a professional illustrator, utilizes a variety of mediums in her array of dynamic and colorful artwork. She works to create images that focuses on stories reflecting a critical view of social, historical, and cultural issues. Currently she is living in her hometown of Baltimore and works as a freelance artist.
Another returning Master artist, in the past year Lewis has gained experience teaching and painting murals and learning how to effectively teach art to youth to ensure each participant gets the most benefit possible from the Art @ Work program.
Mike Thomas, an artist and teacher Baltimore obtained his BFA and MFA in art Education at The Maryland Institute College of Art. He has participated in many art exhibits and won several awards over the years
He is a returning Master Teacher for Art @ Work and looks forward to an equally successful and enriching experience with the youth of Baltimore as he experienced last year.
This summer, each of the eight teams teams will create public murals and mosaics along the Pennsylvania Avenue cultural corridor at sites including: 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.
On Wednesday July 6th from 6-9pm the youth artists led a community design presentation to present their project ideas at the Shake & Bake Family Fun Center.
We are all eager and excited to see the designs the masters and apprentices come up, and how these projects will materialize over the next several weeks, until the program is completed. On July 29th, the the completion of the program will be celebrated and viewed with trolley tours at Shake & Bake from 6-9pm.