By Rachel Menitoff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re driving along York Road in northeast Baltimore, you’ll likely pass a new piece of art — a mural designed and constructed entirely by young people, teenagers who live in the community.

“Together Govans,” that’s the name of the mural which spans the width of a two-story building.

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“I’ve always been into art, but since I’m doing this, I’m starting to like art more,” said Sherrill Richardson, with Art at Work.

Richardson is one of 10 young people part of the joint Art At Work and Youth Works program supported by Loyola University Maryland and several other Baltimore organizations.

For Richardson, it’s allowed her to tap into her artistic abilities.

“It brings out more of what I can actually do,” she said.

They’re guided by lead artist, Iandry Randriamandroso.

“In order to help a community, you have to be in that community, ask what they need, you know?” Randriamandroso said.

And that’s exactly what they did.

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Before they even started to paint, this group went door-to-door along York Road asking their neighborhood what they wanted to see.

“The benefit is really that involvement of youth to be a good citizen,” Randriamandroso said.

That design evolved into one which symbolizes unity, love, and respect.

It’s a labor of love and also a learning opportunity. The summer program also offers workforce development, college, and career planning.

“The whole point of the youth works program is to really get the young people in our community working and to really give them those practical skills that they can use later in life.” Brenna O’Grady, site supervisor for Art at Work.

Richardson said the next you pass by this stretch of York Road, take a moment to marvel at its artistry and its beautiful transformation.

“I hope they’re inspired and that they can do it too,” she said.

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And if you’d like to see the final version of this beautiful mural, there will be an unveiling next Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

Rachel Menitoff