Penguin Rush Hour Mural Returns to Silver Spring

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined other county leaders for the unveiling of the Penguin Rush Hour Mural in downtown Silver Spring.

For many commuters in Downtown Silver Spring, the 100-foot mural painted on 25 plywood panels by Artist Sally Callmer, was a part of everyday travel. It was taken down in 2006 and stored due to construction of the Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center but it left residents wondering when the mural would return.

“No matter where I go, people always asked, when are the penguins coming back?” Leggett said.

The painting was a result of a public art contest sponsored by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority back in 1989 and was to be taken a down a year later. WMATA decided to purchase the work and displayed it permanently.

A fundraiser campaign titled, “Pennies for Penguins,” helped to restore the original painting, which deteriorated over time.

As a part of the construction of the new transit center, Montgomery County leaders had the panels scanned and painted on aluminum metals. The new panels are weather and graffiti resistant to last longer than the original painting.

“I am really excited about the painting restoration back to the Silver Spring Transit Center here,” Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker said. “Public art in public places is really important in general, but this particular mural means so much to the community.”

The artwork can be viewed outside the Silver Spring Metro station.

Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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