Freshly coiffed botanical crowns, community stakeholders, a formal design committee, studio photography with stylized gender blending sitters, two weeks of public mural painting, a certain inflection of romanticism, and an opening celebration anointed with live jazz performances on the sidewalk by two stunning talents with their fingers on the pulse.
This is the wholistic, even transformative work you’ve come to expect from the collaborative approach of street artist, muralist, historian, activist, lecturer, trend watcher, and sociologist GAIA – but it keeps coalescing into a plentiful and integrated cosmos.
This project is called “Overjoyed,” a mural completed this autumn on Greenmount West and Old Yorke Road in Baltimore, Maryland. In what he describes as the satisfying outcome of 18 months of planning and community collaboration, GAIA summons a richly textured, quietly reverential visual and floral feast of natural, yet poised, beauty. Moreover, it is rooted in the people who live here and the location itself.
“Considering this wall sits in an important intersection for local transportation history and that the 32nd street farmers market is such a beloved aspect of the neighborhood,” says GAIA, “a composition with flowing floral arrangements and past street scenes from Waverly was ultimately developed.”
The three sided wall took four weeks of painting to complete and was concluded by an informal celebration with a performance by Brandon Woody and Devron Dennis.
GAIA would like to extend many thanks to the Central Baltimore Partnership for the funding through their Spruce Up Grant program, @waverlymainst to apply for and administer the grant and community engagement, and Greenmount Partners for the private funding and wall donation.