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Towson Creative Partnership seeking proposals for library mural

The facade of the library building in Towson that will be decorated as part of the Creative Partnership's project.
The facade of the library building in Towson that will be decorated as part of the Creative Partnership's project. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Towson Creative Partnership announced Tuesday a call for artists to submit proposals for a mural design to go on the facade of the library building that faces York Road.

The mural will cover roughly 1,800 square feet and be spread across separate panels outside the library building. The partnership is not specifying any themes or design requirements for submissions, but they did note that they “should take into consideration the architectural aspects of the building.”

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“I want this thing to be something that people will drive to photograph and see, and then spend money in Towson,” said David Riley, the co-chair of the Towson Creative Partnership. “One of the things that every urban area should have is a great art scene. We think now is Towson’s time to have that developed.”

The money for the project is coming from a $50,000 state grant that was awarded to the Towson Chamber of Commerce in late November. The Towson Creative Partnership is a component of the chamber.

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The mural will be the third shepherded by the partnership; the first is a large “Welcome to Towson” mural on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the second is a koi mural that was designed to honor and show support for Andrew Mercier, a 10-year-old who died of leukemia in December.

Given the parameters of the call for artists, the newest mural would be completed by the end of August, and other artwork projects could spring up by the end of the year. Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber, said there are at least two other ideas in the works.

One is to have some electrical boxes around Towson painted; the other is to paint some of the flower planters in the area. And, Hafford said, the chamber is always considering more buildings in Towson for murals, too.

Erica Palmisano, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Public Library, said the library was looking forward to being a part of the new art project.

“The library is an iconic building, and we’re excited to have original art on there,” she said.

Artists will be paid for their work, and a jury of representatives from the county, the library, the creative partnership and other area stakeholders will choose a project, with an announcement slated for May 18.

Work will be expected to begin June 30 and be completed by Aug. 30. Applicants must pay a $60 fee, which Riley said will be put toward the funding of other, future projects.

As Towson continues to develop — with apartments and shopping and student housing springing up along York Road — the Towson Creative Partnership and others hope the addition of urban artwork, like the murals, will help the area retain a distinct character.

David Marks, the Baltimore County Council member who represents Towson, said he thinks the idea of putting artwork on the library building is “an outstanding project," and that it adds to the murals already painted last year.

“It builds upon our work from last summer, and I think will truly renovate an important gateway into downtown Towson,” Marks said.

Submissions have to be mailed to the Towson Chamber of Commerce office, and are due by April 30.

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