Saturday, May 18, 2013 9:20 AM
Photo by Amber Larkins. College Park City Councilman Robert Catlin paints a panel of a community mural.
Published on: Friday, December 07, 2012
By Amber Larkins
College Park City Councilman Robert Catlin painted a mural panel depicting a sign that represents the urban renewal of many buildings and houses that took place in 1973, while children, teens and adults of all ages painted other panels beside him.
“It’s a lot of fun to work on a mural,” Catlin said.
The council member likes mural projects because they involve dozens of people working together at the same time.
The University of Maryland Office of Community Engagement in collaboration with the Lakeland Community is working on the mural project, designed by artist Helina Metapheria in conjunction with Lakeland community members. The mural depicts the local history of Lakeland.
Photo by Amber Larkins. From front, Karla Contreras, 8, and Angel Romo, 10, work on the mural.
“Past residents of this community overcame great challenges and have stories to tell that can serve as inspiration to current residents,” said Emily Adams, a community partner project coordinator for the University of Maryland.
The 16 4-feet-by-4-feet panels will be hung in the tunnel leading to Lake Artemesia in March or April.
“That’s one of the open spaces for our community, students, residents, and based on responses from residents, this was an eyesore all full of graffiti,” Adams said.
Because the mural will hang in an underpass, it will have a limited audience of pedestrians and cyclists, Catlin said.
During the first painting session, Metapheria helped the painters mix colors and gave the painters general guidance in painting. If someone made a mistake, the mistake would just be painted over.
“It’s very forgiving paint,” Metapheria said.
The volunteer painters filled in the basic shapes of eight of the sixteen panels. Metapheria will add in the fine details near the end of the seven sessions.
Adams said the Office of Community Engagement wants to have more programs and opportunities to address the needs of the College Park community and to beautify and build trust within the community.
Other mural painting sessions will be held at the College Park Community Center from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 15, as well as every Saturday in January.
Those interested in painting should email Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 405-1941.