Enthusiasm and support for the mid-April start of the Shore Icons Mural at Le Hatchery Galleria is palpable. Larger than life Chesapeake Bay scenes will come to life on the silos and buildings surrounding and on the Galleria at 125 Kemp Lane in Easton at the capable hands of nationally recognized mural artist Michael Rosato.
The massive project will take Michael at least eight months to complete. The expansive mural is so large, at 13,500 square feet, that it has been submitted to Guinness World Records for the record-breaking achievement for the “Largest, Single Artist, Brush Painted Mural in the world.”
Originally conceived as a “street beautification” project in one of Easton’s Enterprise zones, “Shore Icons Mural” has evolved into a vision for a world-class educational and tourist attraction. The mural will bring to life the often forgotten people, animals, activities and cultural icons that make life on the Eastern Shore so wonderfully unique.
According to Bob Porter, who owns the Le Hatchery Galleria building, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture our history and lore and present it in a bigger than life format for Eastern Shore residents and the thousands who visit each year to enjoy. And, we anticipate it will draw thousands more to our area.”
The mural showcases such well-known Eastern Shore icons as Harriet Tubman, Frank Purdue, Frederick Douglass, as well as skipjacks, Maryland crabs, Great Blue Herons, Eagles, Black-eyed Susans, the Bay Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, wild ponies of Assateague and Chincoteague and much more.
Michael’s works are installed in museums and public venues across the country, including Cambridge, where Michael has his studio. His murals are part of the Chesapeake Country Mural Trail in Dorchester County. His works include the Goose on the Caboose owned by Powell Real Estate; Big Bird Mural at J.M. Clayton’s Seafood, the oldest continuously operating crab factory in the world; Watermen Working Mural on the side of the Dorchester County Visitor Center; Native American Life Mural on the side of the Vienna Community Center in Vienna; and two murals in East New Market.
Michael has deep appreciation for the history, culture and natural landscape that makes the Eastern Shore so special. Attention to detail in his paintings is remarkable. Michael paints in the Trompe L’oeil style, which means “optical illusion” or “trick the eye.” One feels like he or she can walk right into his painted scenes.
Michael is a self-taught muralist, having sketched scenes on his apartment walls in the beginning. Today his murals appear at Smithsonian museums, National Park Service sites, major league ballparks, the Oklahoma bombing memorial and more. He opened his downtown Cambridge studio in 2001 when he and his wife moved to Dorchester County.
To share in the creation of this massive painting, the murals’ progression will be filmed in time lapse and posted online. Additionally, Michael will wear a webcam that will be streamed live. The project will be on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Constant Contact and YouTube, to invite others into the process of this unique project.
According to Bob, “We want to be sure that all our friends and neighbors understand two things:
How important the history of the “Shore” is to us all; it made us who and what we are today. Be Proud!”
Fundraising is ongoing for the project. Bob said, “We are so thankful to all the business and individuals who are making this tribute to the Eastern Shore possible.” Various sponsorships are available. Call Bob Porter at 410-310-7544, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ShoreIcons.com to use the “Go Fund Me” page.