The Frederick News-Post

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Public art isn’t just for the south end of downtown Frederick.

A new mural project, North of Fourth, is in progress near the Bernard W. Brown Community Center on North Market Street.

“Everyone likes art and wants to see art,” said Kevin Lollar, development director for the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick. “There’s a beauty and a creative energy around it.”

The mural, by Frederick artists Jack Pabis and Anthony Owens, will consist of two large panels on the side of a house at Market and Lord Nickens streets.

“My idea was to do a mosaic,” said Pabis, whose mural design was selected by a committee of professionals in the local art community. “I figured I could have someone do the tile, or I could paint the panels to look like tile.”

The final mural will in fact be a combination of both.

“The 3-D element gives it a real unique pop,” said Owens, who will be laying the tile with the help of his son Evan. “It’s not only by far the largest mural in Frederick, but it’s also the most unusual.”

The idea, according to Lollar, who initiated the project, and Amber Van Deusen, project manager, is to create a unique mural that will draw Frederick residents and tourists to the north end of Market Street.

Owens estimates that hundreds of tiles will be needed to complete the mural, perhaps thousands.

“It’s a monster project,” he said. “Cutting tile is a slow, methodical process.”

Owens is volunteering his time not just because he wants to give back to the community that he raised his children in, but because he recognizes the power of art.

“Art represents what can be magic in life,” he said. “(It) inspires young children to break down barriers society has put in place.”

North of Fourth is part of the Hope IV project, a program aimed at revitalizing the north end of Market Street by redeveloping and decentralizing low-income and public housing.

Recently, Hope IV built 55 environmentally friendly, mixed-income homes off North Bentz Street. Although the subject of the mural is currently to remain a secret, it will relate to the energy-efficient theme of the community.

“(The mural) will hopefully change the entire feel and mood of the area,” Pabis said. “It could use a little more beauty, a little more sunshine.”

The project has received donations from the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, Lowe’s, Valspar Paint and Rentals Unlimited Inc.

An unveiling of the North of Fourth mural will be held around the beginning of October. People can check the North of Fourth Facebook page for updates.

“We want to make sure those who donated are recognized, as well as the artists,” Van Deusen said.

Eventually, Lollar hopes to complete six more murals alongside Lord Nickens Street.

“Art may appear to be static,” Lollar said, “but it invokes a positive feeling and a sense of pride,” and he has high hopes for the north end of Market Street.

“We’re trying to create a community that works and has its own identity,” Lollar said. “I sort of envision this as the neighborhood folks in town will want to hang out in.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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