The Rapidian

WMCAT teens dedicate new mural in Burton Heights

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

WMCAT teen artists install mural for House of Style, dedication on November 3 at 4 p.m.

Mural dedication November 3

A public dedication of the new House of Style mural will take place on Thursday, November 3 at 4 p.m. in the parking lot behind House of Style, 2013 Division Ave. South. The public is invited to celebrate the mural and meet our teen artists.

The new mural at House of Style created by WMCAT

The new mural at House of Style created by WMCAT

House of Style is a decades-old, family-owned business in the Burton Heights Business District of Grand Rapids. Despite its long-standing reputation as an anchor business in their neighborhood, owner Debra Reece saw a need to increase visibility. How could House of Style celebrate their important place in the neighborhood, promote their expertise in hair care, styling and fashion, and increase visibility to potential customers?

Through Neighborhood Ventures, House of Style was connected with the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology and our innovative teen arts program. Three advanced illustration teen students, under the guidance of Professional Teaching artist and local muralist George Eberhardt, created and installed an original mural on two panels at the rear entrance of the store adjacent to a popular public parking lot.

WMCAT Teen Artists Daniel Cornejo, a senior at Union High School, Railyn Eaddy, a sophomore at Grand Rapids Montessori, and John Newton, a junior at Ottawa Hills, began their design process by interviewing Debra. She told them it was important that the mural include a woman with natural hair and children to represent the future. The three teens drew several individual sketches, then combined their ideas into a final drawing. Railyn’s ideas and sketches served as the predominant theme and idea.

Over three work days the teens and George transformed their final sketch into a full-scale mural. For the three teens this was their second mural project with WMCAT (they were all on the team that created a mural at Wilcox Park in summer 2016). “We were building upon what we learned with the Wilcox Park project,” said Daniel, who enjoyed the challenge of working with spray paint as opposed to his usual medium of ink and pencil.

“I liked seeing how a sketch is turned into something bigger,” said Railyn.

The new House of Style mural is up for a Neighborhood Business Award for Best District Project or Promotion from the Neighborhood Business Alliance.

WMCAT’s Teen Arts + Tech Program engages Grand Rapids Public high school students in an after-school experience in arts and technology. Teens learn, create and grow in studios including illustration, photography, ceramics, video game design, fashion, video production, and audio production. The program has been nationally-recognized as a top creative youth development model by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for three consecutive years.

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