In 1993, I painted the constellation-themed mural Two Bears and Variations on the side of 1224 W. Lombard Street in the Sowebo section of Baltimore. The design was selected from submissions to the Baltimore Mural Program by the community association. I based it on a series of small paintings I had made inspired by Baroque star maps, depicting the different constellation figures associated with the same stars in various cultures. I began with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Great Bear and Little Bear) from Greek mythology, the names astronomers use. The other two sections of the mural repeat that star map with the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, and again with Three Leaps of the Gazelle as it escapes the constellation Leo the Lion, from an Arab legend.

Helen Glazer on scaffolding painting mural

Below are photos that show the transformation of the wall starting from bare cinderblock with a smattering of graffiti and an interim stage when I had covered it with blue paint and sketched the design onto it in chalk. Above is the finished mural as it looked freshly painted 30 years ago. Years later, the late Herman Heyn, Baltimore's "Street Corner Astronomer" known for setting up his telescope at the Inner Harbor and inviting passersby to take a look, called to tell me he took bicycle tour groups there to point out the stars, which he appreciated were accurately positioned. The last photo below is one he sent to Sky and Telescope magazine, which published it in 2003 with his description. See more photos of mural details.

Unpainted wall
Mural in progress, partially painted
Herman Heyn's bike tour, photo published in Sky and Telescope