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Artist paints colorful mural on Knollwood sign in Towson

Artist paints colorful mural on Knollwood sign in Towson
Liv James, a D.C.-based artist and former Towson resident, works on a mural on Knollwood Road in Towson on July 9. (Libby Solomon)

A sign in Towson’s Knollwood neighborhood got a colorful makeover Tuesday with a mural painted by artist Liv James.

The large arched sign in the median near the 7600 block of Knollwood Road features a colorful backsplash of orange, yellow and magenta, with an image of a monarch butterfly atop a child’s finger.

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“The neighborhood wanted butterflies, so I ran with it,” James said Tuesday morning as she waited for paint to dry between layers.

The mural is the first for James, 28, who used to live off Charles Street in Towson but recently moved temporarily to Washington, D.C., to help out a family member. She usually paints what she calls stencil graffiti art using shipping pallets, taking them apart and putting them together to construct a canvas.

Liv James, a D.C.-based artist and former Towson resident, poses with her completed mural on Knollwood Road in Towson. Courtesy Photo/David Riley
Liv James, a D.C.-based artist and former Towson resident, poses with her completed mural on Knollwood Road in Towson. Courtesy Photo/David Riley (Courtesy Photo/David Riley / HANDOUT)

David Riley, president of the Knollwood Association, who asked James to paint the mural, said it is one step in his larger goal to bring public art to Towson.

He hopes the new mural, a different style of art than can be seen elsewhere in Towson, will attract visitors who might drive by on purpose or take selfies with the art.

“It’s not a large piece, but it’s something totally different for Towson and reflects the growing conversation around public art,” Riley said.

Riley is co-chair of a committee launched in January to bring public art to downtown Towson. The first mural spearheaded by the Towson Creative Partnership is set to be painted later this month, funded by $6,000 in donations, said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson.

“Art generates economic activity ... it is an economic driver,” Riley said.

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