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The Great Wall of Waverly

If you happen to be driving or walking in Baltimore’s Waverly neighborhood, it’s pretty hard to miss the colorful mural on the northeast corner of E. 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue. Depicting happy members of an obviously vibrant urban community, the mural is the result of lots of hard work by Johns Hopkins students and faculty and neighborhood residents. Leading the charge was Tom Chalkley, instructor in the Krieger School’s Homewood Art Workshops. After securing the commission from the Baltimore City Mural Program, Chalkley set about organizing his team of artists. With the help of fellow Johns Hopkins faculty members Craig Hankin (director of the arts program) and instructor Barbara Gruber, Chalkley recruited more than a dozen Johns Hopkins students along with many community volunteers. In fact, children from the neighborhood came out almost every day to help out. Here, Chalkley (center) and two Johns Hopkins students work on filling in the color. Chalkley says this mural, completed last year, “would have been utterly impossible without so many skilled volunteers.” An experienced cartoonist and muralist, Chalkley says this was the biggest job he’s ever taken on. “The title of the mural is ‘Waverly Village,’ but our nickname for it was ‘The Great Wall of Waverly.’”

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