Muralists Complete Beautification Work in Germantown

The public announcement came via Twitter: "Early Saturday morning sealing up a mural in Germantown. All done!"

The mural was one painted on the metal grates outside Acclaim Academy, an early childhood learning center on Germantown Avenue near Chelten. And the message came from the ChromaDolls LLC, a fine-arts collective specializing in large outdoor murals.

When NewsWorks caught up with ChromaDolls Kala Hagopian and Ali Williams last fall, they said the project at 5615 Germantown Ave. was commissioned by Acclaim's owner Joe Martin, who explained that he grew weary of the "war-time effect" created by the block's string of metal gates.

It's already serving that purpose, Martin said this week.

A welcomed sight

"We're getting a lot of comments from people passing by, and those who live in the community," he said.

"Some people are stopping by and taking pictures of it," he continued. "The fact that it's there, and people are responding to it, lets you know that it's already making a difference. Imagine if we got the whole block to do it."

Williams said that the duo has "been in contact with a few businesses on that block" who are interested in similar artwork adoring their gates. They are currently working up estimates.

"Now that it's warmer, more people are anxious to have that kind of work done," said Williams, noting that brutal winter weather pushed completion of the Acclaim project back until May. Of the finished product, she added, "We are really happy with it."

Martin estimated that three businesses on his block have already expressed interest in continuing the effort, and said that Germantown United CDC's micro-grant program might help others beautify as well.

This story is reported through a newsgathering partnership between and

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