At the beginning of August 2010 Charles Lawrance and I began our biggest piece to date. A mural for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts. The wall measures about 25 ft x 75 ft and is on the side of Joseph P. Lock’s Funeral Home on N. Central and Hoffman Street and is part of a neighborhood beautification project. The wall faces a lot that has recently been converted to neighborhood garden space by local volunteers.
Charles has done more than a few murals for the City of Baltimore and had this project all lined up with sketch approved before I came on board. He’s well known for his wildlife and nature painting, which is one of the reasons he was selected. But rather than do a straight up nature scene he wanted to include some significant neighborhood landmarks and famous African Americans from Baltimore. Prominently on display would be St. Frances Xavier Church, the first African American Catholic Parish in the United States, The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum and the Apollo Theater. Charles managed to squeeze it all into the sketch with plenty of room left over for butterflies and foliage.
But we still had some research to do. Who would be the notable figures to appear in the final piece?