Bringing Brunswick History Back to Life

"I thought it would just take a couple hours," said Melanie Bambrick, the artist who revived the nine foot by Brunswick Mural.webnine foot mural located on a pier supporting the Potomac Street Bridge on Potomac Street in downtown Brunswick. The reality of recreating the mural, was, in fact, more than 170 hours, plus additional hours for planning, drawing the sketches, acquiring supplies, and more. When the Design Committee of Brunswick Main Street wanted to restore the original mural created in 1983, they advertised for artists to apply. Melanie, a Brunswick resident and a junior at Brunswick High School (a sophomore when the project was underway and completed), was one of three applicants, and was selected because the committee liked her art style, and they wanted to carry on the tradition of using an artist from Brunswick. The Brunswick Main Street Design Committee was given a grant from The Brunswick Area Fund to help fund the project. The fund was started in 1993 by The Honorable William W. Wenner and his wife Lila C. Wenner to support community services and projects in Brunswick.
Melanie has been drawing since age 5 and has been studying various art forms and techniques since age 9. She has been accepted to the Governor Thomas Johnson High School Arts and Communications Academy, Visual Arts Program, through Frederick County Public Schools for her junior and senior years.
When asked why she wanted to be the artist for the mural project, Melanie said "I thought it would be something I could do, and that I could improve on the original scene by modernizing it using three dimensional drawing. I also thought it would be good resume material, and help me when applying to colleges."
With tremendous support from her parents, Tim and Dawn Ann Bambrick, Melanie began the project in April 2014 by power-washing the concrete wall, followed by sketching the design onto the wall section by section, using a carpenter pencil and an old-fashioned overhead projector. Using nine exterior latex colors, she custom-mixed 25 additional colors from these to create various shadings needed. Drawing and painting something this large was a challenge, Melanie said, because scaling the drawing to the correct proportions was difficult. In addition, she had to take into consideration the imperfections in the wall, and two horizontal indentations each about two inches wide that extend across the entire surface. This made the three dimensional work even tougher. Finally, Melanie had to develop a completely different painting technique due to the semi-rough, porous concrete surface filled with small air-holes. The mural was completed in mid-June 2014.
In addition to putting her own modern touches and three dimensional additions to a mural depicting Brunswick history, Melanie added one more subtle touch. The lettering on the mural, "The Future of Brunswick is Rooted Deeply in our Past," is painted using the official colors of Brunswick High School. The detail in the project overall is quite impressive, the new colors vibrant and eye-catching, and the three dimensional aspect gives the scene life and movement.
While she still has some time to decide about college and careers, Melanie is certain about one thing. "Art is my future." Don't miss this beautiful restoration when you next visit Brunswick. It's worth stopping and taking a closer look.

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