Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Red Mountain Branch have been busy giving the outside of their facility a facelift—they are covering the entrance with a mural, from the floor up. The branch has been planning this project for a while and the members have finally started working on it.
“This is the first year that we have had kids stay with the art program almost the whole way through the school year,” said Bella Miller, Red Mountain Branch supervisor. “The children are learning new painting techniques and have been catching on fast [as they work on] this big project on their own building.”
The club members have been painting a desert-themed mural on the north side of the wall using bright colors that work well with each other and that can be seen from quite a distance.
Joseph Wolves Kill is the art instructor and also teaches at other Boys & Girls Club branches as well as Salt River High School. Currently 10 individuals are working on the wall, with children as young as seven years old pitching in with the painting.
“Joseph and I have wanted to do this for a while,” said Miller. “We wanted to make something warm and welcoming and also to do something that showcases the youths’ talent through artwork. We also want to put a tagline on the building that is appropriate and in O’odham.”
Wolves Kill came up with the sketch for the mural; he transferred it to the wall and the children are painting it in. The kids are painting within the lines of the drawings, and then Wolves Kill goes back for touch-ups and to add a little more detail.
“I just thought it would be nice to use a desert scene,” said Wolves Kill. “Later we will do photos of the kids [working on] their favorite hobbies and put them into the painting too. We are going to also paint a background.” The wall should be finished this month.
As part of the art activities at the club, the children have done a lot of other painting, on gourds, three-dimensional objects and canvas work. Some of their artwork is featured this evening at Xico Gallery in Chandler, as part of the Boys & Girls Club Fine Art Show (see sidebar). Their work will be on display and available for purchase directly from the kids.
Future plans call for extending the mural to wrap around the entire building.