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Baltimore visual artist creates neighborhood murals & pop art portrait of poet Amanda Gorman

Posted at 9:12 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 23:19:00-05

BALTIMORE — Visual artist LaTosha Maddox is creating pops of color in and around her West Baltimore neighborhood. From murals to pop art portraits, each creation is meant to inspire onlookers.

WMAR-2 News met up with the 26-year-old on Broom Street where she quickly infused life into an abandoned door front.

"It had graffiti all over it," said Maddox as she stirred a blue can of paint. "Now it's just a blank canvas and I'm ready to get to work."

After a few chalk lines and some blue brush strokes the statement was complete.

The blue and purple door front now asks, "If not now than when?"

"It's about taking action," said Maddox. "I would definitely say Baltimore is an empty canvas. There's a lot to improve on, a lot of empty shelves that are just waiting to be created and to have something made out of that."

Maddox, who is originally from Frederick takes her art background and creates simple murals in and around her neighborhood. Work she is more known for hangs in the gallery of her apartment.

"All of my gallery walls kind of have a couple of different functions," she said. "This one is all about black women."

Each portrait Maddox creates represents empowerment. Her latest portrait is of Amanda Gorman, the first ever national youth poet laureate who performed at this year's inauguration and Superbowl.

"It was just amazing to see somebody that I can really see in myself, someone close to my age doing something that amazing," Maddox said.

Maddox herself has done amazing things, though she downplays them.

"I've done a lot of community work," she said.

Maddox is currently planning a mural in the Bolton Hill area with the help of a community group.

As for the art she creates she said she hopes it inspires people, especially young people of color.

"I just want kids, especially, to know that if this is something that you love then it’s worth trying," she said.