Students make artwork out of mall wall Mural depicts Maryland scenes

December 11, 1992|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

First, it was like being invited to paint graffiti on a wall. Now the young painters will return to the scene to autograph their creation.

Art students from nine high schools painted a 50-foot-long, 8-foot-high mural last month in the Glen Burnie Mall, depicting scenes from throughout the state, from city buildings to open waterways.

The mural at the mall's east entrance will be dedicated at 1 p.m. tomorrow, with a meet-the-artists reception and festivities to kick off the 30th anniversary of the mall at 6711 Ritchie Highway.

The 15 artists took part in the Anne Arundel County school system's two-week summer program for artistically gifted and talented students, said Elizabeth Grimaldis, art coordinator for the schools. The suggestion by the mall came earlier this year and arrangements were made in August, she said.

The project was accomplished by students with guidance from art teachers, supplies and refreshments from mall merchants and transportation from parents. Some students were asked to design a panel with a Maryland theme; others were asked to contribute painting skills.

Lucia DiRado, 17, a senior at Broadneck High School, designed and sketched an Eastern Shore panel. She made sure, she said, to include the animal portraits she loves to do.

"That's one of my main styles -- I paint animal portraits," she said.

In designing the geese, she included "one real big one; a head and neck look out at you. I kind of like that. It brings you into the painting."

The young artists worked their magic on the wall Nov. 13 and 14.

Tammy Kitchner, 16, a junior at Glen Burnie High, and Jonathan Hsieh, 14, a freshman at Severna Park High, were among the painters, brushing reeds and boats. Jonathan, who usually draws, said standing up for hours to paint was exciting and fun, but tiring.

"I never painted on something with a lot of different people, and you see everyone's different style," Tammy said.

She is delighted her work will be in such a visible place. "Most artists don't get anything showed off the way we are getting our work showed off," she said.

Lucia's talents have caught the eye not only of county educators, but also of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which has offered her a $3,000-a-year scholarship for four years to any state college in Maryland. She plans to major not in art, but in occupational therapy, and hopes to use the scholarship at Towson State University.

Participating students are: Jim Koerner and Shawn Noratel (Old Mill); Lucia DiRado (Broadneck); Chip Scott (Chesapeake); Kimberly Tolbert, Marnie Bird and Dan Dorman (Meade); Andrew Asher and Parry Dale (South River); Jonathan Hsieh, Megan Reilly and Carrie Kelly (Severna Park); Tammy Kitchner (Glen Burnie); Melanie DeWolff (Annapolis); and Diane Search (North County).

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