The West Hyattsville Metro Station has been undecorated since its opening in 1993. Usually viewed as just a pass-through for residents to get to their destinations, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (HCDC) put fourth an initiative to bring a colorful change to the metro station.
Two local artists, Corey L. Stowers, and Henry Portillo, who are both Prince George’s County natives, were selected to create a mural that will adorn underpass walls. Stowers was raised in Hyattsville, Md. and Portillo was raised in Langley Park, Md. The final artwork was collaboratively created and submitted by the artists under ART B.L.O.C., a non-profit, artist-based advocacy and facilitation organization that Stowers founded.
The West Hyattsville Station will be the organization’s first mural in Prince George’s County. The organization will receive a $5,000 stipend from the HCDC for the project.
“Corey and his team have a good sense of both the movement and esthetic we are attempting to achieve, as well as a great feel for this area,” Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of HCDC, told the AFRO.
There were roughly 21 applicants who submitted artwork for the mural. The final choice is a piece that features abstract artwork. The title of the piece is “Breaking the Horizon.” Hyattsville community members will be invited to help paint the mural on “Mural Day”, May 13.
A“Bursting on the Scene” meet-and-greet held at Saint Matthew’s Parrish Day School on April 24 was hosted by Justin Fair, economic development coordinator of HCDC and Eisenberg. At the meet-and-greet both men outlined the planning and agenda of the upcoming community paint day, which will be an event that is open to the public, free, and kid-friendly.
Councilmember Edouard Haba (Ward 4) attended the “Meet-the-Artist” event accompanied by his wife and two children. Haba told the AFRO that he is pleased with the new addition to the West Hyattsville station. “We are excited to be finally getting this in West Hyattsville. Hopefully it will be a great event for the community as well,” he said.
Haba said he hopes that the mural will also encourage WMATA to develop the station more.
According to 2010 Census data, Hyattsville has a majority Black population with 35.64 percent.
“Being that I grew up here, it’s kind of a privilege because I never expected to see something that I did on one of the walls in the area that I grew up in,” Portillo told the AFRO. “When I was young I looked at the stuff that was around and I wondered maybe one day. So now that I can do it, it’s a crazy feeling.”