BALTIMORE — “During a time like this, the mosaic provides a sense of hope and sends a message that things can improve if we work together,” —Executive Director of New Song Academy.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings and representatives from GBC LEADERship, Art with a Heart and the local community participated in the unveiling of a new mosaic at the New Song Academy located at 1530 Presstman Road in the Sandtown community of Baltimore City on Friday, June 5, 2015.
(Photo: Phinesse Demps)
More than 800 volunteers and members of the local community worked over the past sixteen months to assemble the piece of artwork that was designed to reflect images and feelings of “a new day dawning, building bridges and a positive future of Baltimore City.”
The project was coordinated and overseen by Art with a Heart, the Baltimore-based non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people in need, throughout the utilization of visual art. Partnering in the effort were officials of GBC LEADERship.
After the conclusion of the mosaic dedication, a community service project took place at the school involving students, parents, faculty members and the local community.
“At a time like this and with all the issues we are dealing with in Baltimore, the mosaic provides a sense of hope, while also reminding us what challenges remain ahead,” explained Jane Johnson, Executive Director of New Song Community Learning Center. “It demonstrates what you can achieve when people work together towards a common goal. I was struck by the many males who became so deeply involved with the process. They worked seriously and intently. Many were young men who had graduated from our program and were in a mode of giving back.”
“Art with a Heart has spearheaded mosaic projects similar to this one numerous times throughout Baltimore City, and the collaborative effort typically creates a lasting bond among the participants, produces a final product that an entire community can embrace and beautifies a space with a compelling message unique to a specific audience,” said Randi Pupkin, Executive Director of Art with a Heart. “The completion of this mosaic comes at a particularly critical time in Baltimore, when people are searching for positive rays and signals that we are moving in the right direction. We believe the residents of Sandtown have rallied around this effort and helped set the course for renewal and
“In different and varied situations, artwork is effectively used in the healing process as a method to relieve stress and alter attitudes and perspectives,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are extremely impressed with the creation of this mosaic and the integration of so many different audiences and groups. It represents a beacon of hope and source of strength for the Sandtown and greater Baltimore communities.”
Since 2002, Art with a Heart has provided Baltimore’s vulnerable children, youth and adults with access to creative, educational and positive programming, caring and nurturing adults on a consistent basis and the chance to embrace new ideas and skills in a safe and structured environment. The organization leads more than 10,000 visual art classes annually in schools, community centers, group homes, shelters, permanent housing facilities, hospital and senior living centers. For more information, visit: www.ArtwithaHeart.net