FRESH FROM the elation of seeing his huge historical glass mural dedicated in a local elementary school, artist Luke A. Shaw is in Panama gathering "sceneries to paint."
He is preparing for a spring showing of his interpretations of ancient Chinese painting techniques.
"Everywhere I travel, I try to find something to represent the area," Shaw said earlier this month, a few days before departing for a three-week stay in the isthmus nation.
In October, the Coppin State College art professor was at the new Armistead Gardens Elementary School on East Eager Street for the dedication of his three-section mural of the history of the neighborhood.
The work is a fused glass mosaic that measures 20 feet wide and 8 feet high and is located at the school's main entrance.
The mural, constructed to Shaw's design by two artists in the Great Panes studio in Ellicott City (Sherry Fackler-Berkowitz and Len Berkowitz), depicts the past, present and future of the community, which was built in World War II as the home of Pulaski Highway defense workers.
"It was jammed and really wonderful," says Shaw of the dedication ceremony.
In his early 60s, Shaw became an artist against the odds. His hands were seriously burned when he fell into a fireplace as an infant, and he endured several years of operations to partially restore their use.