Baltimore students complete mural through Loyola partnership
| By Andrew Aldrich
Ten 14- to 18-year-old students from the Govans neighborhood of Baltimore completed a mural called “Together Govans” depicting symbols representing love, unity, and community on the side of a two-story building at 4300 York Road. The work was part of a program supported by Loyola University Maryland’s York Road Initiative, a community development effort in the York Road and Govans neighborhoods of Baltimore.
The youth mural apprentices developed their artistic skills under a professional artist Iandry Randriamandroso. They also earned wages for painting the mural and received college and career preparation, financial education, professional development, and civic engagement workshops from members of Loyola’s faculty and staff.
“This mural is a depiction of the hopes of residents and neighbors along the York Road corridor. As we work together to create positive change, this mural is a visual representation and inspiration for the love and healing needed to bring about unity. It’s especially significant that the mural is located next to a stone wall that has historically divided the west side of the community from the east side,” said Marie Anderson, assistant director of Loyola’s York Road Initiative.
The mural project was part of the Art @ Work program, a five-week mural artist apprenticeship program supported by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for students enrolled in the mayor’s Office of Economic Development’s YouthWorks summer jobs program. Students work under artists to create public art in Baltimore neighborhoods, learn about career opportunities in the arts, and develop tools to express themselves through art. In addition, the project received funding from the Department of Planning’s INSPIRE program in partnership with the reconstruction of the Walter P. Carter Elementary Middle School.
Randriamandroso worked with the students to paint “Together Govans,” which depicts clasping hands representing togetherness and care, a heart symbolizing love within the community and a Ghanaian Adinkra symbol that means, “Those led by love always end up in the right place.” Randriamandroso designed the mural with the students based on conversations and input from community residents.
Loyola University Maryland’s York Road Initiative seeks to “improve the quality of life for all persons living, working, and learning in the York Road corridor,” according to the university’s strategic plan. The initiative focuses on educational development, health and well-being, and economic development along York Road.