Another Downtown mural wins wide acclaim

Salisbury artists Brandon Bell and Deserea Martin work on their mural on East Market Street in Downtown Salisbury. The huge artwork, being painted on the side of the newly remodeled Delmarva Veteran Builders, represents freedom and belief. The project was commissioned by Delmarva Builders’ owner Chris Eccleston.

A freshly painted brick wall, one side of Delmarva Veteran Builders’ new home at 120 East Market St. in Downtown Salisbury, has been transformed into a work of public art.

Delmarva Veteran Builders owner Chris Eccleston offered just one guideline for the mural he hired Brandon Bell and Deserea Martin to create that now graces that wall: Incorporate the world “believe” in the design.

The owners of We Are Limitless Studios took on their largest project to date with very little direction from the client. Each has a “day job,” Bell as marketing director of Peninsula Alternative Health and owner of an art media company, Mixed Happy Creations and Martin at Rise Up Coffee in Salisbury. She is also a reiki practitioner and co-owner of We Are Limitless.

“We had done some artwork for Jeri Miller, owner of Jam Studios, as a thank-you piece,” said Bell, 30. “Chris (Eccleston) admired the piece and asked if we were artists.”

Eccleston was looking for a mural artist, and he was impressed enough to give the young couple a chance. He had initially hired someone else for the job but that didn’t work out, Bell said.

The creative couple put their heads together and came up with a design that incorporated some of Eccleston’s personal philosophies, which include giving back to the community.

“A lot of believing in the impossible went into this,” said Martin, 28.

“Dreams,” said Bell, “a firm belief in what it is you want to do. That includes hardship and struggles. We have had our own struggles, but we try to believe things into existence.”

Bell and Martin met at Pocomoke Middle School and became fast friends.

“I had a crush on her when we rode the middle school bus,” said Bell.

Martin ended up attending Salisbury Christian School while Bell attended Pocomoke High. After high school the two chased their separate dreams for a few years.

Martin moved to Texas where, she said, she did a lot of growing and learning about life.

Bell moved around, to Las Vegas; Hollywood, Florida; and San Diego, California. He spent three to four months in each place.

“I thought I would find opportunities and happiness,” said Bell, “but I learned the same problems followed me wherever I went. I feel like I can be more impactful in a smaller place.”

After some years, they found their way back to the Lower Shore, a committed relationship and joint household complete with two children.

After many design renderings, approval was secured from both Eccleston and the Downtown Historic District. The mural work began in early August.

“We’d never done anything of this magnitude,” said Bell. “We did paint one of the electric transformer boxes near the courthouse (one block north of the mural), but nothing like this.”

“It took a lot of confidence,” said Martin, “a firm belief that we could do it.”

They spent their late summer and early autumn evenings painting, as both have day jobs. They projected the rendering onto the wall and sketched it out on the wall. The rest was done by hand, careful, painstaking and ever so important to the talented couple.

The striking design, in addition to the requisite “believe,” features a young girl holding a fluffy white dandelion and blowing the seeds away, as children love to do. The result is an incredible rainbow burst of flowers on the right-hand side of the wall.

“The model for the girl is our daughter,” said Martin.

In keeping with Eccleston’s desire to connect with and give back to the community, one flower at the bottom right was left as an outline in black and white.

On three designated evenings in October, when the rest of the mural was complete, Bell and Martin invited community members to come and paint that last flower, just a few strokes of the brush each. The response was overwhelming.

“We had 81 people show up to add the finishing touches during a three-day period,” said Bell. A guest book was compiled for posterity with the names of each person who added some paint to the final flower of the project.

Prints of the mural image are available at the We Are Limitless Studios website, wearelimitlessstudios.com. Fifty percent of the proceeds from print sales will be donated to the nonprofit Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District. Visit the We Are Limitless Facebook page at facebook.com/WeAreLimitlessStudios/ for more information.

“This will be done with the intention of giving back to the community and helping give access to funds for more projects such as the mural we took on,” said Bell. “People can find updates on our We Are Limitless Facebook page, where we post about the prints.”

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