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The Arts Scene

Adding to the foundations of our community

Caroline King
MSM Class of 2015

(7/2014) Since arriving to the area three years ago from Baltimore City, I have been continually amazed and inspired by the history and beauty that seems to be hiding in every brick in our town. It seems no matter where I end up, thereís a fascinating and stunning secret tucked away. The Timeless Trends Boutique is no exception. Built on the Thurmont Main Street, this is the oldest building that has been in continual use as a store since its creation in the 1800ís. It even has some of the original glass still adorning the window panes. However, this awesome piece of history has decided to add something different to the old building recently unveiling a brand new mural on the side of their store.

Revealed on June 12th, the mural by itself is worth going to see. Painted by local artist, Yemi, it was "A labor of love" for his friend and the owner of the Boutique, Virgina LaRouche. It depicts the image of a woman using beautiful colors and an impressive technique. According to the artist, it took over 150 hours of painting to complete. Itís a "celebration of the beautiful town of Thurmont," according to the artist, and is an amazing addition to the classic building. The revealing itself was wildly successful, as the Timeless Trends Boutique opened its doors to the community to celebrate its newest addition in style. Many members of the community came out to browse the stores selection, greet Yemi himself, and listen to the refreshing music played by guitarist Jennie Williams before the mural was unveiled to excited applause.

If youíre ever driving down the Thurmont Main Street, you can see the Mural for yourself. Such a bright and vibrant painting, located on the side of the store, is hard to miss. The Timeless Trends Boutique has continued the tradition of keeping the oldest continuous storefront in Thurmont running for 5 years and has catered to the community by providing amazing restorations of old pieces, fun knick knacks, and beautiful antiques. "This store is one of the best stores in the area," Yemi raved when asked about his dedication and mural to the store. "And itís all because of the buyer. Virgina is one of the best buyers. She has an eye, it makes the store great." Of course, the dťcor of this cute timeless boutique helps its success. If the mural, the shops history, and the beautifully stocked store with treasure around every corner arenít enough to sway you, there is also a large "Vintage Warehouse" tucked away behind the store. This warehouse previously was used as a carriage house, housing up to three horses and two carriages with a loft for hay and feed, back at the creation of the original store front. Now itís filled with everything from antique furniture and mirrors to old military boots and cameras. Thereís a pleasant surprise around every corner, and even if you donít know exactly what youíre looking for, youíre sure to find it in either the boutique or the warehouse. Tastefully arranged and organized, and now with a beautiful mural decorating the side of it, if you find yourself in the Thurmont area Timeless Trends should be at the top of your list to visit.

Yemi is an artist whose works should also be at the top of your "to visit" list. Heís done various local pieces and has works available for purchase in Annapolis, Boonsboro, Frederick, Hagerstown, Middletown, Walkersville, Williamsport, and Thurmont. Yemi was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and moved to New York where he attended Pratt Institute. He received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Science in Art and Communications Design. Since becoming an artist, heís done drawings for major companies including AT&T, Haagen Daz, UPS, New York Times, and many more. In fact, Yemi's 'Girl Group' stamps are a part of the permanent collection of the Rock~N~Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. If youíre interested in seeing Yemiís Murals and large installations, they can be found in several locations including; the Courtyard by Marriot lobby in Frederick and The Common Market in Frederick as well as in Creekside building glass walkway, the mural features all exterior glass, and the Pillars of Frederick, which is one of the biggest murals in Maryland at 1280 square feet. It is definitely something worth checking out.

Yemi moved to this area from Manhattan where, he informed me with a smile, there were "more rats than people." A very different area than our own, but Yemi confessed his love for this community. He spoke about working "One brick at a time. It doesnít look like much when youíve only laid down for bricks. But after years you have something beautiful." Each mural and artist work for the community Yemi produces is a brick in the foundation he is trying to build. And soon, he will be able to place a few more into his foundation. Teaming up with the Lions Club, Yemi will be creating a new mural based on the beauty he finds from living in the Thurmont area. "We live in the most beautiful place" Yemi confessed to me, "But people donít know it. I want to show them. Thereís such a rich vein of history here, I want to make the community aware of what we have. From waterfalls to forest and beaches this mural will cover entire walls and help the community find whatís here. "

For those of you who donít know, the Thurmont lionís club is "a group of community-minded men and women who have come together to enjoy each other's company, hear interesting programs, and raise funds for important local or vision-related causes." Theyíve put on various Sociable and Charitable events, including multiple food drives, the Community Easter egg hunt, and many more as well as being actively involved in the Youth Culture of the area. From high school Scholarships to supporting Boy Scout troops the Lionís Club strives to make positive impacts and additions to the Thurmont Community. And next month the Lions club, along with Yemi, will be unveiling their latest addition to the community. Yemiís "Crowning Jewel" Mural will be unveiled on Saturday, August 23 at 1 PM at the Trolley Substation along East Main Street at the entrance of the carnival grounds in Thurmont, Maryland. Yemi will be depicting several scenic and historic murals of the Thurmont area, and I was even given the tip that the mural will come with directions to go and see the areas depicted.

One of the amazing things about Thurmont, and the surrounding communities that I have come to notice in my time here, is that it really is as Yemi said, "One of the most beautiful areas around." No matter where I end up, I stumble upon amazing landscapes, well preserved pieces of history, and many stories. However, I find myself unaware of what is in the area until I actually come across it. Yemiís taken this issue into his own hands. "I want to make people aware of what we have." He said to me, when I asked him what the message of his mural was. "Some people life here all their life and donít know the beauty or all the history." And so heís creating a mural with a dual purpose. It will be a beautiful addition to Thurmont, but it will also serve as a larger than life map highlighting many of the places of interest around the area. A map, I at least, will need to take full advantage of.

Yemi asked me, while I was speaking to him about our community, where I was originally from. When I informed him I was from Baltimore, he laughed comparing that to his time in Manhattan. "So how did you like Baltimore?" He pressed me with a grin, after informing me how much he disliked Manhattan. Well, Iím not sure how many of you know people from Baltimore, but if youíve ever met a Ravens fan at a sports bar, or just during a good season, you know weíreÖfiercely dedicated to our own. "I liked it." I said mildly- thinking of crab feasts, Orioles games, the harbor, and mind meltingly humid summers before I continued, "But up here I wake up every day surprised at how beautiful it is."

We live in an amazing community, full of life beauty and history. Yemi, Virgina LaRouche, The Timeless Trends boutique, and the Thurmont Lionís club are all individual bricks that make up the strong and united foundation of our community. With this new addition of Yemiís upcoming mural, our community continues to grow, brick by brick. If you can make the unveiling, Iíd urge you to do so. Again Yemiís "Crowning Jewel" Mural will be unveiled on Saturday, August 23 at 1 PM at the Trolley Substation along East Main Street at the entrance of the carnival grounds in Thurmont, Maryland. Weíd love to see you there!

If you would like more information about any of the following you can check out their websites at:

Virgina LaRouche/Timeless Trends: timelesstrendsboutique.com

Yemi: yemi777.wix.com/yemi-artist/ (or on his facebook page facebook.com/pages/yemi/92593424872)

Lions Club: thurmontlionsclub.com

Read other articles on the local arts scene by Caroline King