April 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 54 F

Art is dying in Annapolis

Art is dying in Annapolis. Well, dying tends to make one think of old age. Perhaps “being killed” is more appropriate. And it seems that as the City’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) keeps grabbing for more power, public art in our City is slowly being suffocated.  So much, that a group is planning a funeral this Sunday for a piece of public art facing a parking lot on Cathedral Street.

The Funeral – 430pm Sunday – Cathedral Street near West Street

This mural will be painted over on Sunday
This mural will be painted over on Sunday

The wall will be returned to a similar state as it was prior to the mural.
The wall will be returned to a similar state as it was prior to the mural.
The gist of this is that a building owner made an attempt at beautifying a blank wall with a mural. The City’s HPC sprang into action and demanded that the owner submit a Certificate of Approval (COA) for the work.  A COA is first step in an approval process–sometimes they approve COAs and sometimes they don’t. Seeing this as another overreach, the owner decided to not apply for a COA and instead will re-paint the wall out of integrity. The owner, together with the artist, Jason Liggett, decided that applying for the COA merely reinforces the notion that the City has the right to determine the paint scheme on a private building–despite their statement to the contrary last fall.

But the colorful wall will not die silently. The Process Preservation Coalition will be allowing other artists and the public to paint their own messages and art on the mural before it is smothered in drab monotones once again. The allusion is that the City (and bland boring colors) will suffocate and bury messages on support of a vibrant art community. There will be music by Angela Charles, Jimi Davies, and Dan Haas, there will be dancing by City Dock Tango and to top it off, an old-style New Orleans Second Line parade will close it out as the vibrancy is snuffed out. Please make it a point to come out and support the art scene in Annapolis on Sunday at 430pm.

The Process Preservation Coalition (PPC) is a group organized to work with the City to actually help define the reach of the HPC which keeps grasping for more and more. Several months ago, the HPC wanted to re-write the code to increase their authority up to the point of being allowed entry into private homes to verify compliance. Thankfully this ordinance was shot down.

Currently, the organization is in support of the owners of Tsunami who painted a mural on their building in May of 2015 overlooking West Street in the Arts District. As with the mural to be covered, the City demanded a COA be submitted. The owners have refused and as of now it is up to a Court to determine if the City has the authority it has tried to assume or not.

PPC fully realizes that the City has legitimate issues and concerns. One of their goals is to offer constructive solutions to to the issues which will allow both sides to co-exist peacefully.

For more information on the PPC, please visit their Facebook Page!


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