"We bleed purple in this household," Davis said. "Our basement already had a Ravens logo my wife painted on one wall and a Maryland Terps logo on the other. They were good enough. But over the summer, we decided to remodel the basement."

That remodeling project led to purple for the walls ("It's more of a light lavender, but you get the idea," Davis said), and then, as the crowning touch, a pair of Ravens-theme murals painted by Brian Propst Jr., who was commissioned before anyone knew the team would make it to the Super Bowl.

"I had been painting in a visceral style when I graduated from MICA," Propst said, "with fixed blobs of paint. Then I made the transition to graphic design, which is a big, big transition."

Propst went on to develop commercial relationships with the Ravens, designing licensed Torrey Smith apparel, for example. He also has a graphics outlet at the business he joined with his father, Propst & Sons Sports, which specializes in T-shirts.

Davis, who has known father and son, gave Propst free rein for the basement murals. The first one, started in mid-December and finished a couple of weeks ago, is a tribute to Ray Lewis.

"It's Ray's last dance," Propst said. "The view is out of the [stadium] tunnel, and he is casting a shadow back into the tunnel. It's saying how he's not coming back, but he's leaving a big shadow."

Other details fill the mural, including a reverse-image of the Lewis dance on the Jumbotron and a fan leaning over the rail to take a cellphone shot of the linebacker.

For the second mural, which Propst promised would be finished in time for the Super Bowl festivities at the house, the artist depicts a Ravens locker room where jerseys of celebrated players hang.

For MICA grad student Dixon Stetler, a subtler Ravens theme caught her eye just before the team played the AFC championship game.

Although photography is not her main pursuit (her focus is community collaborative arts), Stetler grabbed a camera to capture three potent images on Federal Hill — the American flag, a cannon and the Ravens helmet logo painted onto the hillside grass.

"I couldn't resist it," said Stetler. She titled the neatly composed photo "Aggression Symbols Stock Images."

"It's crazy how you can get swept up in the Ravens frenzy," she said. "I'll be watching the [Super Bowl] eating fried things sprinkled with Old Bay, drinking Natty Boh and enjoying every minute of it."

Ravens-theme art can be found in public, too. Images of team members and logos have blossomed around Baltimore recently via street art. There is bound to be more of it, especially if things go well in New Orleans on Sunday night.

"I always have Ravens fever," said the street artist known as Sorta. (Street artists, who work on the fringes of legality, frequently do not use their real or full names.) "And I'm going to be putting some massive pastes of Ray Lewis up in undisclosed locations. They'll be like 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide."

Such large-scale manifestations seem fitting, given the city's fixation on its football team.

"You can go into any random store and all types of people will be talking about the Ravens," said another street artist, Nether. "It's great how it brings people together. People really love this city, and they really celebrate when something good like this happens. I love being downtown and seeing all the purple, the solidarity that connects people."

The Baltimore-born Nether has poured his own support for the team into a boldly outlined, black-and-white drawing of a strong-jawed man in a Ravens hat. That image has been pasted in several Baltimore locations.

One of the spots Nether chose was the surface of an electrical box on a pole in the Station North area.

"It had to be redone four times because the city kept taking it down," the artist said. "But since the Ravens beat the Broncos, they haven't taken it down again."

Last year, Nether was just as willing to put his purple pride on a wall. He pasted a large mural at the intersection of Howard and Monument streets, a vivid triptych of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Ray Lewis, each with a fiercely determined expression on his face.

There's a cool, time-lapse YouTube video showing Nether creating that work — a good thing, too, since not much other documentation of the mural remains.

"It was done just before the [January 2012] championship game," the artist said. "It didn't stay up long. I think it was destroyed by someone who was not happy when the Ravens lost that game. I think there's just a chunk of Ray Rice's face left now."

Nether got into the genre as a way of drawing attention to abandoned or neglected buildings, and many of his subjects address political and social issues (his image evoking slain, hoodie-wearing Florida teenager Trayvon Martin sprang up in the city last year to compelling effect).

But the artist relishes adding Ravens themes to the mix.

"I love sports. I know that's not what some people think of artists," Nether said. "And I love how the Ravens are so connected to Baltimore. If we win the Super Bowl, I'm thinking of putting up an image that is more victorious, something that says, 'We did it.'"

tim.smith@baltsun.com

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