Meet Our New Mural with a Message! (Narrative & Video)



by Pete Theodore, Communications Manager

If you drove down Bush Street by Second Chance a few weeks ago, all you would’ve seen were barren bricks, varying shades of fading paint, and the sporadic graffiti tag. Now, an inspiring message of hope welcomes those who drive or walk along this stretch of the Gwynns Falls Trail.

Utilizing a generous grant from the Baltimore Development Corporation, Second Chance partnered with the talented Shawn James of Mural Masters, Inc. to depict its mission in a new 180-foot mural. The successful outcome of that venture is now evident.

The panorama unfolds from right to left to align with Bush Street’s one way traffic. Immediately, the viewer is gripped by the stark – even haunting – depiction of a man confined to a jail cell or, metaphorically, imprisoned by some weighty life obstacle. He’s deep in thought, contemplating where he is and where he wants to be. He clearly needs a “second chance,” and if someone will give it to him, he’s ready to seize it.

Well, somebody did… Second Chance. In the next frame, the man eagerly rolls up the sleeves of his new work shirt to begin job training in the art of deconstruction. He grips the sledgehammer tightly as he shatters his previous prison bars, while also carefully dismantling a home in order to salvage all its reusable parts.

As the mural progresses, the trainee is joined by others on the same journey of personal development through vocational success. Together, they process materials that were once destined for the landfill but are now being made available for reuse. Yes, these easily overlooked and discarded items also get a “second chance” at new life.

Customers are shopping at the store in the next frame. Whether they know it, their purchases and product donations are what make the story possible.

Finally, our central figure uses his training to progress beyond Second Chance. His skills are employed in a new trade – construction. The lessons he’s learned serve him well as he proudly builds his first home. The hands that once held bars now grip tools. He who was built is now building. His satisfaction is apparent, and his family and community are grateful.

Faint reflections of the green leaf from Second Chance’s logo flow throughout the mural. It ties the pieces into a unifying story, ultimately climaxing in an enlarged 3-panel logo that reminds onlookers of Second Chance’s central mission – to Reclaim, Retrain and Renew.

Murals are a Baltimore hallmark. Art is a global language. Our hope is that by combining the two, this memorial depicts for years to come our commitment to social and environmental progress in Baltimore and beyond. Your support in that journey is not only essential, it’s deeply appreciated!