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Downtown Youth Paint Mural of Life on Streets of Salt Lake City

Homeless and transitioning youth from the Road Home and Palmer Court communities paint a hopeful yet grim picture of life on the streets of Salt Lake City.

Mural at Palmer Court
Mural at Palmer Court
Aug. 4, 2011 - PRLog -- What: Youth Mural Unveiling
Date: Friday, August 5, 2011
Time: 9:30 am
Location: Palmer Court
                999 South Main Street
                Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Not all the youth involved in the painting of the new mural at Palmer Court will be attending the unveiling. Despite the effort and heart put into the work, the secret of their present homelessness with its accompanying stigma, outweighs their willingness to publicly celebrate their achievements. Secrecy, fear, and depression are all themes explored in this new mural along with a hopeful look at the opportunities provided to them by the city.

The mural was painted throughout the month of July by the "FACES of Youth" program sponsored by the Salt Lake Community Action Program (SLCAP). FACES provides "after-school and summer youth programs for Salt Lake County, [empowering] youth through art, recreation, service, and education."*

Artist Roger Whiting, who served as the mentor and director of the mural project, explains, "Originally I thought that the mural should show an upward progression from homelessness to the greater community. After much discussion with the youth it became clear that they are very involved in the community with their friends and schooling. Therefore the opportunities and freedom afforded to the greater community surround them in the mural, tightly blended with their hardships and inner trials."

Whiting met with the youth each Friday in July to first brainstorm, then sketch, then paint the mural on the wall facing the Palmer Court Housing facility. The mural is a collage of the sketches created in these sessions. Since the mural is visible from State St, Whiting wanted the youth to understand that they had an opportunity to tell their story to the people of the city.

Not only does the mural express the negative side of homelessness, it also expresses the youths' sincere appreciation for the opportunities they are given and the hope that one day they will have their own homes. Training, education, recreation, and experience are all seen in the mural as positive things they can take from their hardships as they progress into the greater community.

Besides creating the mural, the FACES program also brought in artist Amber DeBirk to work with the youth to create their own smaller, personal artistic expressions. The resulting fused glass, ceramic, and collage works are on display at the 2nd level of the Downtown Main Library throughout the month of August, along with a smaller mural on canvas that the youth painted with Whiting.

For those interested in serving the Road Home youth, Intrepid Hybrid Communications is currently involved in their annual "Apple Tree" drive to help the Youth of the Road Home with their back-to-school needs. Information on the 37 different locations of the trees is visible on Intrepid's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IntrepidAgency?v=app_4949752878&r...

Many of the youth involved in the mural painting, as well as Whiting and Cassidy DuHadway, Youth Development Program Coordinator for FACES of Youth and SLCAP will be present at the unveiling to answer questions.

What: Youth Mural Unveiling
Date: Friday, August 5, 2011
Time: 9:30 am
Location: Palmer Court
                999 South Main Street
                Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Press Contacts:

Cassidy DuHadway - Youth Development Program Coordinator for FACES of Youth - 801-977-1122, ext. 443  cduhadway@slcap.org

Roger Whiting - Community Artist - 801-380-8924  - murals@rogerwhiting.com
*source: http://www.facebook.com/facesofyouth?sk=info

# # #

Roger Whiting Murals & Illustration provides art-making experiences to youth who may not experience art as much as others without intervention. Examples of Whiting's previous work can be seen at his website, http://www.rogerwhiting.com

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Contact Email:
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Source:Roger Whiting
Location:Sandy - Utah - United States
Industry:Arts, Non-profit
Tags:Homelessness, Art, Expression, Mural, Painting, Economy, Youth
Last Updated:Aug 04, 2011
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