Govans community unveiled a new mural called “Together Govans.”

By Joshua Moore
Special to the AFRO

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) program, Art @ Work, held an official unveiling on Aug. 5 in the Govans community for the new mural called “Together Govans.” The design shows clasped hands to represent togetherness and care for each other, and an Adinkra symbol, Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan, from the Republic of Ghana in Africa. The image is meant to symbolize love, unity and respect throughout the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood. 

This isn’t the only mural in this area of Baltimore. If someone were to take a drive down York Road in Northeast Baltimore, they would see plenty of other murals designed by the young people in the program. 

Art @ Work is designed for young adults aged from 14-21 with a passion for art and design. The main goal is to introduce them to mentorship, employment in a learning environment and the ability to express themselves through art. 

In fact, before the actual painting of the mural, the youth went door to door asking Baltimore residents what they would like to see expressed in the mural. 

Barbara Hauck, communications manager for BOPA, had great things to say about the unveiling and the people that were impacted throughout the process. 

The amount of people that arrived at the unveiling was a surprise to Hauck and her team. According to Hauck, there was an estimate of around 50 people that attended the unveiling. The support from the community was outstanding.

“There were a lot of family members of the young people that painted the mural, community members, business leaders and other government officials,” Hauck said. “It was really a wonderful, joyous celebration.” 

Throughout the six week Art @ Work program, there are certain phases that the young adults have to go through. Community engagement, designing the presentation and the creation of the mural itself. 

Of all three phases, Hauck said that the phase that seemed most enjoyable to the young adults was the creation of the mural. Hauck reminisced about one student, in particular, who was initially afraid of being on the scaffold. 

“There was one student who received the passionate painter superlative certificate, and he was the most nervous about that height,” Hauck said. “Once he got up there and started working, you couldn’t get him off the scaffold, he was on there everyday.”

On top of showcasing young adults and their skills to the community, BOPA also wants to make sure that they are learning, growing and building their skill set for future employment.

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