Noteworthy Germantown residents sought to model for Chelten Avenue mural

On Saturday, a core group of community participants will gather at the Mt. Airy Art Garage for the first painting session in the creation of a new mural slated for 310 W. Chelten Ave.

Lead Muralist Jonathan Laidacker said the initial painting session is limited to a small group since the mural is not the only thing finding its way in a new phase. It’s also about the relatively young Mt. Airy Art Garage, which has never hosted a session like this, “getting their feet wet” and getting comfortable with the project before a larger number of people pitch in.

However, Laidacker looks forward to a larger outdoor community-paint session likely in the parking lot at the mural site in May. That event will be open to all community members.

Once the mural is finished, which should be sometime this summer, there will be a public unveiling event.

Public involvement

Laidacker has appreciated local involvement in creating the mural.

There have been community meetings and design sessions involving the afterschool program at Germantown High School, as well as gatherings in a space on Pulaski Avenue. In fact, Germantown residents have been recommending design ideas since last December.

“Everyone’s been very open about what they’re interested in,” Laidacker said.

Balancing so much community input with his own work has translated into a slower moving process than initially anticipated by Laidacker.

“It’s a broad project, with a lot of ideas and people involved,” explained Laidacker who doesn’t mind the delay. Rather he wants to ensure that “it gets done right.”

Models needed

Now that the mural’s design is essentially complete, he is onto the next phase of help he needs from community members.

Laidacker said he needs models for the human figures who will appear in the mural, and is hoping for suggestions of appropriate people from the neighborhood.

He hopes to use the images of a few real people who are longtime, well-known Germantown residents who are respected among their neighbors. The actual modeling will be a quick and simple matter. They just have to meet Laidacker at the mural site for a few photos.

Anyone who would like to nominate a likely community member can do so through the Germantown mural’s Facebook page, or e-mail.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.