Posted on : Tuesday June 17, 2014
Liz Miller, artist

Liz Miller, artist

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

BALTIMORE, Md.—The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s booth at the Southern Baptist Convention featured an eye-catching colorful mural, compressing as much of the city’s charm as possible into a small exhibit space.

Bethany Church’s  Music Minister Sherrie McKay oversaw the project. The backdrop featured classic Baltimore row houses but the detail was what gave the display its Baltimore charm. “We wanted to make it ‘authentically Baltimore,’” Artist Liz Miller said.

After the building crew completed the construction at the Ellicott City campus, Miller went to work, pouring forty hours into painting and decorating. She laughs as she describes adding the final touches including a few city “water dogs,” (rats); and ravens as a nod to Edgar Allen Poe and the football team. Street numbers were significant. One was Annie Armstrong’s birth date another her birth year and one the year of her death. Miller also added life to the homes, potted plants, cats, window boxes…not just standing buildings. “And I added butterflies to reflect the beauty and true charm of the city,” Miller said. An orange flamingo was also included.

Wendy Mindte serves at the exhibit

Wendy Mindte serves at the exhibit

Pressed for time, Miller said she experimented a bit, using paint markers for the edges of a wall with graffiti, and for outlining the row homes. She used neon green for the plants which Miller said gave the display its “pop” of color.

Miller lives in Beltsville and attends Bethany. She has worked with McKay on many pageants and dance ministries.

Interestingly, a child led Miller to Bethany Church. Miller lived in Michigan and was helping with a dance program for a homeschool ministry before moving to Maryland. A Michigan family had connections to a family in Ellicott City and during a phone conversation, the Maryland family mentioned that Bethany Church’s Ellicott City campus needed someone to work with their dance ministry. The eight-year-old said, “My old dance teacher moved to Maryland. She may be able to help.”

“I think it’s so neat that an eight-year old connected me to Sherrie McKay,” Miller said. “Sherrie and I work well together,” Miller said.

Miller credits her father with her artistic skill. “Growing up with him was an apprenticeship but I didn’t think about it until just recently,” Miller said. “I learned a lot of the ‘tricks of the trade.’”