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Artists begin mural on Pinky’s West Street Liquors Saturday for Annapolis’ Carlester ‘Walking Man’ Smith

Artists behind a mural dedicated to Carlester Smith, an Annapolis figure, started working on the piece on West Street Saturday.

Annapolis artists and organizers were painting the mural on the outside of Pinky’s West Street Liquors in honor of Smith, known for his fast walking and trash collecting routine for 40 years. On Facebook Live, viewers can watch the behind the scenes look of the mural.

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The artists and organizers encouraged people around Annapolis to stop by. Throughout the hot Saturday morning, people dropped off Gatorade and snacks while stopping and taking photos of the process, Kevin Lebling, one of the organizers, said.

“People have been stopping because they knew about it or just wanted to know what is going on. It is a festive day, really,” he said.

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Over the course of the day, seven artists worked together to start the layout of the piece before filling it in with paint.

The team planned to return Sunday, as well. By the end of it, Lebling said he hopes the mural will bring Smith back to Annapolis in some way as he isn’t walking around the city anymore due to his health.

“Carlester is a celebrity. If you didn’t know him, you knew of him. That is our idea to bring him back. He always made people smile and that is what we are hoping — people will look at the mural and smile,” he said.

The community rallied around him and helped raise more than $23,000 to help Smith’s family care for him. The funding for the mural being painted on Saturday was raised in one night from the “Walk with me” fundraiser hosted on Facebook Live by Lebling. The $5,000 from raised from that is being used pay for supplies, the artists’ work and a dedication reception at Pinky’s with Smith and his family.

Reporter Selene San Felice contributed to this article.

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