The Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School Parent Teacher Organization is working with community artist Herb Massie to design a ceramic mural to be installed on the outside of the school. Facing McMechen Street, it will celebrate the spirit of the Mt. Royal “Golden Eagle.” They have secured a $6,900 Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM) Grant from the Maryland State Art Council which will be used to pay for initial expenses.
Massie was selected for this project because of his extensive experience working in ceramic mosaics. He has led similar projects with Baltimore City Schools, community groups, and organizations like Jubilee Arts, and he leads workshops in ceramics for children and adults. In 2019, he was commissioned by the Walters Art Museum to produce Reflections of Sybby Grant, a work for the newly opened 1 W Mt. Vernon Place, which is part of their permanent collection.
The school has held a series of planning and brainstorming sessions with students to produce sketches and ideas on paper and in clay. Students will participate in a school-wide vote choosing between two concept sketches and the winning design will be used to inspire the final composition.
The PTO intends to apply for an additional PAAM Project Grant in October 2023 to cover the project costs and installation, and it hopes to begin producing the artwork starting March 2024. Installation is anticipated during the summer of 2024.