BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

A special project with kids of Stanton Community Center for Annapolis' 2017 mayoral inauguration.

Photos by Adetola O Ajayi, Brian White, and Julia Gibb

Date Completed: December 3, 2017

Location: Onstage for Annapolis' 2017 mayoral inauguration, "One Annapolis Fancy Pants Ball" (inaugural ball), Loews Annapolis Hotel, permanent location TBD. 

Artists: Jahrulia with kids of Stanton Community Center, with assists from Adetola O Ajayi, Yasemin Jamison, Leyla Jamison, David Jamison, Niccole Brown, Dani Campbell + K-bug, Rebecca Forte, 

Special thanks to: Katherine Burke of Annapolis Collection Gallery, for bravely hosting our project on top of organizing a mayoral inauguration, Mr. "Lassie" Belt and Mr. Archie Trader for their work and dedication to the children of Stanton Community Center, Brian White, our fearless videographer, and Mayor Gavin Buckley for being a major catalyst for change in Annapolis. ONE ANNAPOLIS, ONE LOVE.

Subject: Benjamin Franklin, polymath, inventor, contributor to our country's Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Objective: To celebrate the inauguration of Annapolis' new Mayor. Mayor Buckley embraces art and actively creates events that bring people from diverse communities together and help Annapolis heal from divisions that have hindered our progress for centuries. The theme of the inauguration, "One Annapolis," inspired FHN co-founder Jeff Huntington to create a project symbolizing many different parts coming together to form a complete picture--in this case, a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Annapolis Collection Gallery owner, Katherine Burke, offered her beautiful space for us to use as a studio for the day--December 3, 2017, during what turned out to be the biggest Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival ever, an event created by now Mayor Buckley. Future History Now strives to find positive opportunities for the children of Annapolis to be seen, their contributions acknowledged, and to feel like stakeholders in their town and its future. Their work was visible to the public the next day, December 4, 2017, at the first inauguration held on West Street, then displayed at the inaugural ball.

Description: A portrait of Benjamin Franklin made up of 20 individual canvasses. The children painted each canvas according to a "map" drawn on it, creating 20 paintings that are abstract on their own, but together form a complete picture. The children did not see what their canvasses would look like when assembled as one. The first look at the completed project some of the young artists got was when they performed in the inaugural parade with dance group, "The Divas." 


Public Piano at Market House, Annapolis

Date Completed: November 5, 2017

Location: Market House, Annapolis

Artist: Anthony LaVorgna, Jr., assisted by Jahrulia, Dani Campbell with daughter Katie, and Yumi Vong

Subject: Portraits of late, great musicians... gone too soon.

Objective: To support a grassroots public art project initiated by Alderwoman Elly Tierney by painting the second Public Piano at Market House. Piano donated by Future History Now.

Description: Portraits applied using transfer techniques. Both transparent and opaque layers of color applied to piano. 


SPCA mural, Annapolis

Date Completed: October 22, 2017

Location: SPCA, Annapolis

Artist: Wade Ellinger and kids from the neighborhood and Jovenes Artistas

Subject: Friendship between people, animals, and the environment

Objective: Providing an uplifting mural for the staff, volunteers, and patrons of the SPCA

Description: Participants used stenciling techniques as well as freehand blending techniques using latex exterior paint to create a stylized landscape filled with animals. 


Andre the Giant mural, France

Date Completed: September 18, 2017

Location: Ussy-sur-Marne, France

Artists: Moe Delaitre, Jahru, and kids of Ussy

Subject: Andre the Giant

Objective: To promote pride in the farming town of Ussy-sur-Marne by honoring the late Andre the Giant in his hometown. 

Description: Portrait of Andre the Giant combined with stenciled shapes that incorporate colors from the architecture of the ancient town of Ussy. Town kids learned about Andre the Giant and his family, some of whom still live in Ussy. Andre's brother Jacko visited the mural after its completion. 


Annapolis Arts & Wine Festival 

Date Completed: June 11, 2017

Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Artists: Jeff Huntington, Laura Brino, kids from Jovenes Artistas, assorted Huntingtons

Objective: Promote Future History Now and the role of art in the community by inviting festival-goers to witness the process of creating a mural with kids.

Description: Two murals on canvas created with spray paint, focusing on the use of patterns and shading techniques. Murals were auctioned off by the directors of the festival, with proceeds going to Future History Now for upcoming projects. 


Herd of Bison

Date completed: in progress

Location: jahru studio and downtown Annapolis

Aritsts: Jahrulia, Laura Brino, and kids from Jovenes Artistas

Objective: To involve local youth in environmental activism, inform them about important environmental issues that will affect their future, and provide historical context regarding the treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. To expand on the kids' knowledge of stenciling and spray paint techniques.

Description: 28 signs depicting the American Bison to be held at Maryland Stands up to Big Oil event by kids of Jovenes Artistas and other volunteers. The signs will form a visual "herd" representing our support for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.


Harriet Tubman and the Legend of the Code Quilts

Date completed: January 29, 2017

Location: Chestertown River Arts/Kid's Spot, High Street, Chestertown, MD

Aritsts: Jahrulia, Raven Bishop, young women of Carter Center, kids from Bayside HOYAS

Objective: Examining the life of Harriet Tubman and the legend of the code quilts. Learning how enslaved African Americans found a "way out of no way," by exploring hidden meanings in African American spirituals. Applying the concept of encoded communication to the idea of code quilts used to guide escaping slaves and conductors of the Underground Railroad to safety.

Description: A five-piece panel portrait of Harriet Tubman incorporating quilt pattern shapes selected to illustrate the idea of how quilts could have been used to communicate in code. Kids painted the quilt shapes and reviewed what they had learned.


Call and Response

Exquisite corpse drawings by kids of Creating Communities with Jeff Huntington and Jimi Davies

Exquisite corpse drawings by kids of Creating Communities with Jeff Huntington and Jimi Davies

Date completed: January 14, 2017

Location: jahru studio

Aritsts: Kids of Creating Communities, Jahru, and Jimi Davies

Objective: Collaborating to create a "call and response" abstract painting--the artists react to the "calls" or brush strokes of fellow artists by adding their visual response.

Description: Abstract acrylic painting using masking techniques to create a hard-edge overlay on top of freehand abstract painting. A follow up exercise creating "exquisite corpse" drawings.


Creating Communities Mural project

Date Completed: December 10, 2016

Location: Harbor House Recreation Center

Artists: Shannon Sterner, Jeff Huntington, and kids from Creating Communities

Objective: Collaboration in Eastport with Rob Levit's Creating Communities program

Description: Future History Now designed and painted one panel with the help of kids from Creating Communities. 


Presidents Hill Community Mural

Date(s) Completed: September 16-25, 2016

Location: 4 Madison Place, Annapolis

Artist(s): Jahru and Kids of Jóvenes Artistas

Subject: Presidential portraits among geometric patterns.

Objective: Offering a collaborative work conceptualized by a local professional artist and executed in collaboration with kids from a local outreach program; paying homage to the historic neighborhood’s name; engaging the community and raising awareness of contemporary art and artists through hands-on experience in beautification and revitalization projects.

Description: Large-scale monochrome portraits of bust of James Madison, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, incorporating geometric shapes, the process intended to engage the kids in mathematics, history, practical applications and problem solving through art-making.


Behemoth

 

Date(s) Completed: July 22-26, 2016

Location: 26 Lafayette Street, Annapolis

Artist(s): Jeff Huntington

Subject: Cedar Waxwing bird amidst tropical foliage covering the front and side of a vacant residential property.

Objective: Offering a non-political image depicting beauty on a blighted property, described by local residents as an “eyesore,” during a dark time in the world.

Description: Artist painted the mural over the course of five days while residents watched, engaged in dialogue and participated in interviews conducted by local media.


Future History Now

Date(s) Executed/Completed: July 3, 2016

Location: 108 Cathedral Street, Annapolis

Artist(s): Jason Liggett (collaboration with community musicians, visual artists and residents)

Subject: Jason Liggett Mural Funeral

Objective: The painting over of a mural as a peaceful protest against the Historic Preservation Commission, a non-art entity, and their request for a private property owner to retroactively apply for artistic approval – an authority that has not been established.

Description: Kids and adults engaged in public speaking, music and a collaborative painting over of the mural. Participants were invited to leave their mark in an artistic manner over the original mural – both murals now covered over.