of the Neighborhood,"
painted by James Colwell in 1992 in Benjamin Yeo Morrison Park,
celebrates the diversity and spirit of Takoma Park, Md.
Despite liking the vibrant colors, city officials
initially had a problem with one piece of the mural (right), which depicts an African-American woman
with exaggerated breasts, the artist says.
But after a discussion with town
leaders, he says he convinced them it was an integral part of the design.
says the mural's name comes
from the network of residents who watch over the community and each
other. "It's a nice notion that
people of different backgrounds can get along together," he says.
for the colors: "I
like bright colors, and the skin tones of black people complement the skin
tones of white people," he says.
Lynch, a 28-year-old herbologist and Takoma Park resident, says she enjoys
looking at the mural during her walks through the park. "I
love the colors," says Lynch, above. "They are so vibrant, it always makes
me feel good when I see it."
mural is one of many in the Washington region that have been eagerly adopted by communities in an effort to
help beautify urban landscape.
a senior planner for Takoma Park, says
murals are typically paid for with government funding,
grants from nonprofit organizations and donations from private sectors.
I look at plans, I try to encourage public art when the opportunity comes
along," he says.