BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Every September for the past few years Little Italy has hosted the world-famous Madonnari Arts Festival. COVID put the kibosh on that in 2020 and organizers feel it's still not safe enough to gather. But they're celebrating art and Italian culture by commissioning a mural--a mural so stunning you have to see it for yourself.
"Carlos is an international phenomenon," said Cyd Wolf of the Madonnari Arts Festival.
Carlos is Carlos Alberto Garcia-Hernandez.
Two weeks ago he flew in from Paris, where he just finished a mural at the French embassy. Now he's transforming a wall on Stiles Street in Baltmore's Little Italy, into a massive painting of Rome's Trevi Fountain.
Carlos loves painting in public. He's a regular at Baltimore's Madonnari Arts Festival and festivals around the world.
"Oceanus, as you know, is the god of all water, the ocean, and he was a benign god in mythology--he didn't take sides," said Wolf. "And we think that's where Baltimore should be."
"The symbolism of the Trevi Fountain is, when you're leaving Italy, if you sit on it and toss a coin, it means you're going to come back. And we always want to come back to our culture and our heritage," said Lou Mazzulli.
Mazzulli, who owns the building, has been dreaming of this mural for 20 years.
But Carlos is adding four birds, three orioles and a raven.
"Of course, we're in Baltimore, and I tried to do something very iconic that everybody can see and say, 'Oh yeah, Baltimore.' The Ravens, well, you know, you have the football team, but you have Edgar Allan Poe," said Garcia-Hernandez.
Using spray paint for the first time, he constantly consults his rendering, and is learning to deal with a brick surface.
Painted with house paint, unlike the traditional Madonnari chalk art, this mural is created to last.
"This is going to be here long after we're not," Wolf said with a laugh.
By tomorrow the orioles and raven will be fully realized. Sunday at 2 p.m. they're cutting the ribbon with a celebration that includes live music, food and everyone is invited, free of charge.
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