August 25, 2019

Lexington Park Joins Public Mural Revival

Lexington Park first public mural

Lexington Park, Maryland, will soon join the long and storied venues of mural history.

With the winning of a $1,000 mini-grant from Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium, St. Mary’s County Community Development Corp. is launching an artist competition for creation of the first public mural in a planned series named, “Lexington Park Comes Alive!” bringing this community into the 21st-century mural revival.

Adding art directly onto our walls arguably began with cave dwellers 40,000 years ago and remained incorporated into the earliest documented Roman art at 500 years b.c.e., even slipping outdoors by that time. Murals developed into the Baroque style of the 17th century to meet a construction boom and reflected the importance Europe’s ruling aristocracy placed on palaces and homes.

Cooper, Texas post office

Cooper, Texas, post office

The style flourished again in the early- to mid-20th century encompassing Pablo Picasso’s Paris, Diego Rivera’s revolutionary frescoes, and the American mural movement of the 1930s developed under the Federal Art Project out of the Works Progress Administration that put Americans to work during The Great Depression.

last-supper

Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper from 1495-1498.

Encyclopædia Britannica’s history of murals leaves little doubt that murals reached their maturity during the Renaissance, the result of plentiful European patrons during one of the highest levels of artistic endeavor ever seen. Similar conditions are fermenting today. The latest revival is successfully revitalizing under-valued communities across the United States and is flourishing from the same collaboration of patrons and booming artistic endeavor.

The new mural enthusiasm has been gaining patrons in particular for communities seeking to draw visitors to undervalue sections of their towns. Public funds as well as private endowments are finding murals an inexpensive, creative, and fast method for drawing those visitors.

Also similar is the boom of artistic endeavors resulting from an internet-age that leaps borders and links cultures in ways never before possible. It is this growth of creative expression “Lexington Park Comes Alive!” seeks to tap to inaugurate Lexington Park into the most recent revival of murals which are appearing across cities and town in America.

The winning artist will need to “think big” and want to see their vision on the long wall of the Bank Square Building, visible from the intersection of Great Mills Road and South Shangri-La Drive. The building, owned by Earley Properties, is the headquarters of the St. Mary’s CDC and seeks to set the standard for the opening of a new mural history within Lexington Park.

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