Annapolis, MD (September 22, 2022) – Today, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman welcomed residents, community partners, elected officials, and others to celebrate the completion of “The Best Place – For All” mural at the Arundel Center located at 44 Calvert Street in Annapolis, MD. The mural is now the largest in the county, and features a collaboration between two well-known, local artists – Comacell Brown Jr. and Cindy Fletcher-Holden.
“The Best Place – For All, our county slogan, is now depicted in art right on the side of the Arundel Center for all our residents to see,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “Celebrating art and our local artists benefits all of our residents, and helps make our county a more beautiful place to live.”
This mural is part of a series of creative enhancements Anne Arundel County is pursuing to beautify its properties through public art. In February 2022 Anne Arundel County and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County formed a committee to issue a “Call for Artists” seeking an artist, designer, or team to design and execute a mural on the Arundel Center. The goal was to attract artists with the ability to design a unique mural that would capture Anne Arundel County’s commitment to building empowered, healthy, safe, educated, thriving, and sustainable communities. The committee looked for historical elements and images of local importance that reflect the cultural values of the county. The final design would ideally emphasize the unique attributes that make Anne Arundel County “The Best Place – For All”.
The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, Annapolis Art District, and members of the County Executive’s staff formed a committee of local arts leaders who served as the selection panel for the mural. Thirty-nine applications were received from across the United States. The top two artists were so close in scores that the committee asked if they would consider working together to produce the mural. The artists – Cindy Fletcher-Holden and Comacell “Cell Spitfire” Brown Jr. collaborated to create a stunning, interactive mural on the 65′ x 45’ wall at Arundel Center, now the largest mural in Anne Arundel County.
“Being a part of ‘The Best Place – For All’ mural with Cindy was a wonderful experience,” said Comacell Brown Jr. “I learned so much from Cindy with her expertise and I’m so thankful for County Executive Pittman, Anne Arundel County Government, The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and the Annapolis Arts District for allowing me to be a part of this project. This mural will truly stand the test of time and will hopefully help bridge the gap between the different groups of people that live in this county, and truly reflect our county’s motto.”
“Painting this mural was an exciting challenge and I was honored to share with Comacell many of my tried and true methods of such large scale work.” said Cindy Fletcher-Holden. “I was amazed and thrilled with how the public reacted with such positivity over the course of the six weeks. I feel that this wall and the story it tells really will be a great addition to the county.”
This mural is not only beautiful, it is an immersive experience. Comacell and Cindy worked with a videographer and animator to create an augmented reality display for the mural. This display is accessible through a QR code sign that has been installed next to the mural so residents can bring the mural to life.
Anne Arundel County captured the creative process as the two artists worked on the massive mural with a time lapse video. A web page has also been created that includes photos and descriptions of murals throughout Anne Arundel County to encourage residents to explore all of the county’s local art.
Cindy Fletcher-Holden is an Annapolis-born professional artist with over 30 years of experience hand lettering, and painting murals. Her lettering is found on transoms and sides of boats all over the Chesapeake Bay, and her murals have been painted throughout the country on many private walls as well as on walls of Starbucks, Glory Days Restaurants, Graduate Hotels and a few private murals in Spain and Portugal. She was responsible for painting the Great Wall of Eastport, the brain child of former mayor Ellen Moyer, and the first mural in Annapolis.
Comacell Brown Jr., aka Cell Spitfire, is the lead designer at Tunnel Vision, a sports apparel company located in Severn. He is the CEO of Cell Spitfire Paintings and Designs, and a teaching artist and mentor who was named 2021 Visual Artist of the Year by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County at the 21st Annie Awards. He’s also a nationally-renowned muralist, having completed countless works of high-visibility outdoors art in Annapolis—for example The Walking Man, memorializing Carlester “Buckwheat” Smith, on the wall of Pinkey’s West Street Liquors, and the Carr’s Beach Mural, which memorializes what was once the go-to beach for African-Americans in the mid-Atlantic, at the Maryland Cultural Conference Center as well as numerous other works. His art can also be found on basketball courts in Washington, D.C., Louisville, Kentucky, and Harlem, New York.
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