STEM Bubbles is a traffic calming pavement mural of angular shapes in eye-catching, Barclay Elementary / Middle School colors, bright blue and orange, connected by white bubbles marking pedestrian paths. Located at 29th and Barclay Streets in central Baltimore, the placemaking artwork is accented with a set of white icons at the northwest corner representing the school’s focus: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The icons include a beaker for science, tablet with code for technology, a wrench for engineering, and arithmetic symbols for math. The symbols and colors that make up the design are inspired by drawings created by students during a workshop held at the school in June 2018 and installed with the help of local volunteers.
Bumpouts are sidewalk extensions that slow cars and make it safer for people to cross. The extended bumpout areas were created with pavement line striping and flex-posts to enhance safety threefold: narrowing traffic lanes to force speeding motorists to slow down, enhancing the visibility of pedestrians waiting to cross, and shortening crosswalk distances. As an approved GAF applicator, Graham Projects created the artwork using custom stencil techniques and DOT-approved, StreetBond pavement coating.
Graham Projects worked closely with the Friends of Barclay, Live Baltimore, Barclay Elementary/Middle School, the Abell Improvement Association, Strong City Baltimore, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT) to solicit community input, design, approve, and install the public artwork. In facilitating a community-based design process, Graham Projects co-led a drawing workshop with students to generate visual themes that were integrated into three designs proposed to community members at several public meetings. The Barclay STEM design was selected based on community feedback and votes tallied.
The Barclay STEM Crosswalks were created over the course of two weekends by the Graham Projects team and local volunteers, including children, parents, and neighborhood advocates. Graham Projects’ professional installation team included lead public artist Graham Coreil-Allen, artist assistants Q Batts and Kenneth Clemons, and area leader Aaron Kaufman. The sidewalk was painted by volunteers including parent-advocate Laura Stella, her family, and several neighbors and children. Drone photography by Baltimore Aerials.