Public murals and landscaping are similar in their purpose: beautification of spaces yet are rarely created as an organic collaboration between the landscaper and muralist. Nether's art gives blighted communities vibrance and voice. His familiarity with the city, and commitment to know the people of the innumerable different neighborhoods he paints in, ensures that his art is not only beautiful but also relatable to its stakeholders. Elise’s landscaping abilities complement Nether's imagery by providing a space in which neighbors reflect and escape. Her designs are not just based on uniform aesthetics, they are purposeful as well. She uses mostly native plants, her works redirects stormwater waste and improves soil drainage.
The first opportunity to collaborate arose this spring when they conceptualized, planned, and executed a collaborative mural / landscaping piece at 25th and Greenmount on the side of a local substance-abuse rehabilitation center. The character in the mural stands in water, half submerged, trying to save the a lotus flower, which reflects her beauty and strength. The obscured face recognizes the recovering addict’s inner battle in Baltimore with shame, anonymity, and pride for overcoming addiction due to public stigma. Following the mural, together they merged by consciously designing a space focused on healing and togetherness. The basic concept in the design continued the visual composition of the natural flow of the water through landscaping features, a path, and native plants to Baltimore.
We seek funding to continue our efforts by bringing a large-scale collaboration to life on the 1000 Block of North Carey Street in Sandtown. We already have community/property owner approval and are in the process of getting permission for the landscaping plot. We need funding to bring this organic style of collaboration to life in Baltimore, while safeguarding a plot of community land in Sandtown.
Funded by Baltimore, MD (December 2016)