The Wisdom Wall
In May of 2016 EHC was approached by representatives of the Robert W. Coleman Community Organization (RWCCO) with the idea of placing a mural on the retaining wall facing W. North Avenue at our St. Stephens Court Apartments property. The wall had been built several years before as part of our renovation of the apartment complex and, given its size, approximately 15 feet high by 80 feet long, and the prominence of its location at the entrance to Coppin State University, it offered a unique opportunity for a high profile piece of public art. EHC enthusiastically supported the idea and, with our long experience in grant writing, fundraising and navigating bureaucratic hurdles offered to spearhead the project.
The RWCCO chose well-known local artist and MICA graduate, Iandry Randriamandroso to create the mural. Together they consulted with the broader community, Coppin State and neighborhood public schools to choose a design. The final design chosen celebrates six historic individuals of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity for their contributions to the local community and the City of Baltimore. The goal is to link leaders from the West Baltimore community with Coppin University leadership and to reinforce the value of education to all segments of the community. The mural is presented as six portraits. The leaders honored are Fannie Jackson Coppin, Robert W. Coleman, William S. Baer, Matthew A. Henson, Elizabeth Ann Seton and Frederick Douglas. Each portrait is accompanied by a short biography. It is our hope that these protraits will not only beautify the area but also instill viewers with a sense of the possibilities of life and the value of education.
Under the direction of the artist, community members, local public school students and students from Coppin State completed the mural in October of 2017. It has attracted positive comments from residents of the area and beyond as well as attention from several media outlets.