Pablo Machioli, the artist who created the 'Madre Luz' protest statue that was recently vandalized, presented his new diptych, "Reclaim Our Community." (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)
Oysters, drums, water and sky — all are among the images that now adorn what were once blank walls near a stretch of East Madison Street in Baltimore.
Residents gathered there Saturday to mark the completion of the mural by artist Pablo Machioli with a cookout and music.
"Everything's connected," the 40-year-old artist said as he described the symbols in his work.
The piece is called "Reclaim our Community" and has two parts that are a short distance from each other — one facing East Madison at the corner of North Collington Avenue; the other facing North Madeira Street.
The project was funded by the Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative, which works to restore Baltimore's harbor.
"At the end of the day, when you come home, that's when you feel comfortable," he said.
Fitzgerald is president of Reclaim our Community, a group of residents who have come together in the neighborhood known as Middle East.
"A lot of developers are coming into the community and rearranging and changing" the neighborhood near Johns Hopkins Hospital, he said. "We're trying to show them we can survive in the community as well."
A drum circle was gathered in front of the mural Saturday. William Emerson, a local musician known as Abu the Flutemaker, played instruments made from found objects, like a drum made from an army helmet and a horn made from PVC pipe.
Also featured were some of the drummers who meet regularly for the "Park Vibe" drum circle at Druid Hill Park.