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A Timonium neighborhood holds a little outdoor art show to brighten a dark time

Ximena and Tiago Noroňa check out the impromptu art show displayed in the Springlake and Coachford neighborhood.
Ximena and Tiago Noroňa check out the impromptu art show displayed in the Springlake and Coachford neighborhood. (Renee Noroňa)

As the world turned upside down and everything slowly ground to a halt, one local neighborhood made their corner a little brighter when they hosted an open-air art show recently.

The Springlake and Coachford neighborhood, just off Padonia Road in Timonium, banded together to showcase the artwork of local children and brought about a lot of smiles in the process.

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It started as a whim when Maria O’Brien saw the idea online. A simple idea to gather together some neighborhood children to showcase their artwork during a gallery walk-type art show. It seemed like the perfect activity for the new normal of social distancing!

She mentioned it to daughters, Charlie and Penny, and to a few friends who were eager to give it a try. The idea soon spread beyond the initial five families and blossomed into an extensive project featuring the artwork of 27 families.

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They took a few days to get the kids excited and begin making or finding old artwork they wanted to share. There were no rules — any type of artwork would do — and they asked folks to simply display the artwork anyway they wanted on Friday, March 20, starting at noon.

According to Renee Noroňa, mother of Ximena, Tiago and Xavi, “this little project was to help get the kids outside, walking and having some fun while keeping our distance.” But it soon turned into something much more as strangers began to walk by and would instantly smile and take pictures.

She added, "The mission was quickly a success and by 2 p.m. there were families riding bikes, walking with their dogs, running and having a look all over the neighborhood at unique artwork made by children.”

Many of the children took their inspiration from author and illustrator Mo Willlems, who is offering a daily online art class.

All sorts of artwork was on display — paintings, coloring pagesand chalk murals, along with other creative works including natural materials such as flowers and seeds, written stories, birdhouses and more. It was truly a heartwarming event.

During these days full of uncertainty and distancing, so many heartwarming activities are taking place around the area. Local schools are still carrying on with the morning announcements, teachers are offering afternoon story times and bedtime stories, and national authors, artists and musicians are sharing their works.

The teachers at Timonium Elementary had an impromptu parade through their school community with teachers waving as they drove past students’ homes.

Dulaney High School and many others are holding virtual spirit weeks complete with the ever-popular Pajama and Crazy Socks days!

Thanks go out to all the teachers, students and neighbors who are coming together virtually during these crazy times.

On a more serious note, Grab and Go meals are being offered locally for any of our students who are in need. Both Padonia Elementary and Dulaney High are locations where students can pick up a bag containing food for breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays, 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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