From WTMJ News – After four long weeks of hard work and dedication, nine Milwaukee teens can officially call themselves muralists. “It makes me feel very happy. I’m very proud of everything that we’ve accomplished,” said Elayna Thompson.
With the help of local mural artist Tia Richardson, nine aspiring artists who were accepted into the community art leaders program worked on designing a mural that best reflected the Kosciuszko Community Center.
“I led them on a guided visualization and out of there different feelings came up on what they would like to see if they saw a big painting on the wall – this is how they would want to feel – this is what they would like to see,” said Richardson.
Two of those aspiring artists included Elayna Thompson and Dana McFarlane, who, after getting feedback from neighbors on what the Kozi center means to them were able to bring those responses to life.
“We see mentorship, we see teamwork and basketball players. It represents a whole community as a whole. The key opens the door to the community telling you that it’s okay, it’s okay to be yourself and it represents you unlocking who you are,” said Thompson.
“It’s like uplifting. We worked on it so long and we just wanted to see how the community takes it. And I saw a lot of smiles on their faces so It was really good,” said McFarlane.
But it’s what Richardson says her students gained along the way while creating this mural that means the most to her.
“Their confidence is growing, they are speaking up more, they are talking to the public,” said Richardson. “I’m watching them grow and it’s just been a real honor to have that opportunity.”
The mural will be moved and hung in the front of the Kosciuszko Community Center for everyone to enjoy.