AMS Maritime Heritage Fence Project 2020
In 2017 the SOFO Business District board decided to embrace the Annapolis Middle School chain link fence that spans 504’ along Forest Drive. It was very much an eye sore that thousands of people see each day. The first wave of beautification was removing the brush and barbed wire. From there we have the canvas to create artwork for all to see.
The artwork project consists of students creating objects that depict something relating to Annapolis’ Maritime Heritage. These objects can represent historic and current locations, events, environment, and economic instances. Each piece of artwork will require the students to learn about the shape they are creating, and to explain what it means to them. The learning environment can be in the classroom, but we would prefer it to be hands on. The best learning environment is to facilitate getting the students on the water in some capacity.
Because the subject of the artwork is Annapolis’ Maritime Heritage we are inviting the students to explore the Annapolis area from the water. This gives them an opportunity to see how the Chesapeake Bay plays an integral part in the past and present Annapolis, our environment, and our unique lifestyle. Students of all ages and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to participate.
These pieces of art are large and visible from the road, drivers and walkers will be able to view them as they pass by. We will have the project listed in the Art in the City of Annapolis book. There will also be a picture online with the details supporting each piece of artwork. And most of all, this area of Forest Drive is heavily traveled by students as they come and go to school each day and we want to give them the opportunity to enjoy their environment through art.
Students are found through the local schools (8 along the SOFO corridor), home schoolers and local youth organizations. The on the water experiences are provided by private and public opportunities. The whole project relies on collaboration of artist to help the children in the painting process, youth groups and schools who are willing to take on a project, boating opportunities whether free or for a fee, and historians to share their knowledge with the students.
The life-cycle of the project takes about 3-5 months. First we screen the organization who wants to do a project and discuss the details and scope of the project. See worksheet. Education on the subject starts at this time. From there the students design the shape they would like to paint. While they are going through the painting cycle we schedule the on the water event. After they finish painting there is approx. a 2 week lag before the artwork is ready to install. Installation can be done by any individual, so we try to make it another gathering of the group. To date we have 4 installs on the fence.
The fence project will be an ongoing project as the length is rather long and there is a lot of room. We anticipate each piece to last 5 years. During the life cycle of the project we will be collaborating with many non-profit organizations, businesses, schools, youth groups, and volunteers.