The Rapidian

Teens liven downtown with mini murals

Teens from WMCAT partner with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. to create murals on utility boxes downtown.
Chris Harris, 16, works on a mural of Ghandi at Fulton and LaGrave

Chris Harris, 16, works on a mural of Ghandi at Fulton and LaGrave /Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

WMCAT is enrolling teens for fall 2015

Be a Change Maker! Classes begin September 28 and meet either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you’re a high school student in Grand Rapids Public Schools, then you can join WMCAT. In our labs you can be an artist, a film maker, a music producer, a sculptor, a video game designer, or photographer. Enroll online today at wmcat.org

 

Viviana Farfan, 16, and John Newton, 15, paint a mural of Martin Luther King Jr. at Fulton and Sheldon

Viviana Farfan, 16, and John Newton, 15, paint a mural of Martin Luther King Jr. at Fulton and Sheldon /Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

Jimia Williams, 17, prepares a utility box for a mural of Frida Kahlo at Monroe Center and Ionia

Jimia Williams, 17, prepares a utility box for a mural of Frida Kahlo at Monroe Center and Ionia /Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

In partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., six teen artists from the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology painted murals on utility boxes in the downtown core to honor public figures with a commitment to social justice.

The teens worked with WMCAT Teaching Artist George Eberhardt to develop and create five mini murals on downtown utility boxes. Working through a design thinking process, the team learned that community members wanted to see public work that would inspire and uplift. They also discovered there were very few, if any, public murals that served as tributes to inspirational heroes.

Students, who are receiving a stipend, sketched, planned and painted throughout the summer, completing the murals August 21. Locations for the five murals are:

·         Monroe Center and Ionia: subject is Frida Kahlo

·         Monroe Center and Division: subject is Maya Angelou

·         Fulton and Sheldon: subject is Martin Luther King Jr.

·         Fulton and LaGrave: subject is Ghandi

·         Division and Weston: subject is Jimi Hendrix

The teen artists, all students from Grand Rapids Public Schools who have participated in WMCAT’s Teen Arts + Tech Program are: Viviana Farfan, 16; Chris Harris, 16; John Newton, 15; Onemia Simmons, 17; Jimia Williams, 17; and Damian Wilson, 16.

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