Abigail Mudd

Abigail Mudd, 18, of Parkville, peers out of the concession stand on July 5 at Pine Ridge Swim Club where one of her colorful murals occupies a wall. Mudd, who's worked at the swim club for four summers, was commissioned by the pool board to paint three murals at the club. This one is "Nemo-esque," said Mudd, because it includes characters from the popular movie, "Finding Nemo." She is currently working on the second mural of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. (Staff photo by Brian Krista / July 4, 2012)

In early May, when the time came to freshen up Pine Ridge Swim Club in Parkville, including replacing the once-bright flower murals painted by a member in 1997, manager John Tolerton had no idea where to find another artist to paint new murals.

The answer was right under his nose.

Four-year staffer and longtime-member Abigail Mudd is an accomplished artist, Mudd's lifelong friend and fellow lifeguard Danielle Delisle told Tolerton.

"I don't know if you know this but Abby paints and she's very good," Tolerton recalled Delisle saying.

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Tolerton approached Mudd, who for the last four years had worked summers at Pine Ridge and who produced sketches for three murals. Tolerton showed them to the board, who unanimously gave the project their thumbs up.

"I had no clue of her talent," Tolerton said. "It blows me away."

The 18-year-old Parkville resident completed the first mural, which she describes as "Nemo-esque" because it includes characters from the popular movie "Finding Nemo" in addition to all sorts of ocean life. The theme that ties the three together is that they are all summer vacation destinations.

She is currently working on the second, which is of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, including the sports stadiums. The third will include scenes from Disney World with "characters flying around and doing stuff," Mudd said.

"That one is more whimsical because it faces the baby pool," she said.

Tolerton said watching Mudd paint the murals has become a popular pastime among members. "They park their chairs so they can watch her paint," Tolerton said.

Mudd, a graduate of Loch Raven High School, said she plans to complete the last mural before the pool closes on Labor Day and she heads off to Drexel University, to which she received local arts scholarships in order to major in chemistry. She eventually hopes to become a medical doctor. Art and chemistry together?

"I'm hoping the two will come together to make me a good doctor," Mudd said.

Elizabeth Eck