Spectrum: Community heart in public art

Jermaine Anderson and Adrian Holmes of Alpha Genesis CDC, Barb Seese of Dorchester Center for the Arts, and muralist Michael Rosato

Sunday May 26, dozens and dozens turned out in the heat for a public paint session at the new Harriet Tubman mural in downtown Cambridge. The back of the Harriet Tubman Museum building at 424 Race St. was all set to be painted in the Log Cabin and Flying Geese quilt patterns, to continue the story of the powerful mural already completed on the side wall by Michael Rosato.

By 10 a.m., a family from Millsboro, Del. was already lined up and ready to start. Just minutes before, Michael Rosata had finished taping off the sketched image, and now paints and brushes were ready to go.

Participants in this historic arts event hailed from the local community, from areas throughout Maryland’s Eastern and Western Shores, and from Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia. All for the opportunity to add their brush strokes to this inspirational mural, and at the same time, a little bit of their own heart and soul.

They talked to their children about visiting the mural in years to come, with their own children, to show them what they had done. For hours the trail of visitors continued; stopping by to paint, to take pictures of the mural, of each other, and with the artist.

To talk about Harriet, about their lives, about their families. It was a day of connecting with the community, heart to heart. There were no barriers to communication. That is the power of public art.

The Harriet Tubman Mural was commissioned by the Dorchester Center for the Arts to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Maryland State Arts Council. Project partners include Alpha Genesis CDC and the Harriet Tubman Organization.

Partial funding was provided by a public art grant from the Maryland State Arts Council with additional funding support from Cambridge Main Street. A dedication will be scheduled for late June.

To learn more about the Dorchester Center for the Arts, stop by 321 High St., call 410-228-7782 or visit online at www.dorchesterarts.org. Find us on Facebook! Programs at DCA are supported by the Maryland State Arts Council.

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