A new mural for Mercy Park will soon be in production, this time designed with children’s artwork.

Children from kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to enroll in upcoming Saturday workshops to create art that could be incorporated into a second tile mural at the newest city park.

Art Feeds will hold two sessions next month for children to develop a theme and create artwork for the mural. It will be installed on the obverse side of the existing interactive butterfly mural.

Children can be enrolled in a three-hour session either Saturday, Sept. 23, or Saturday, Sept. 30, to participate, according to Ashley Le Blanc, partnership coordinator with Art Feeds. Art Feeds is a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic as well as creative education for children.

For many of its other murals and art projects, “We have themes that we have children chose from but for this workshop we will let the children choose the theme,” Le Blanc said.

“We will have five or six themes, and they will brainstorm,” ideas for those topics. “We are still working on what those five or six will be, and they will choose the final theme of the mural.”

There will be four art lessons offered at each session of the workshop.

The first lesson will use the organization’s Community Story Telling Web. Le Blanc said the web illustrates to children that every voice matters.

Another lesson will involve brainstorming to decide the mural’s theme and color scheme. The kids will draw the images they want to make.

After their mural images are made, the students will collaborate in a third lesson to help them understand that by working together, they can create something beautiful.

During the fourth lesson, students will fashion their own “paint brush buddies,” using paint, googly eyes and pipe cleaners as a memento they can keep of their experience.

The workshops are planned to be held in Mercy Park. Art Feeds will use its mobile classroom for part of each session and, if the weather is good, will work outside part of the session.

After the session, the children’s artwork will be turned over to an Art Feeds graphic designer to put the images together to form the mural. The mural will be sent to Whitehill Enterprises to be transferred to tiles.

“Once we finish with our designing work, we will turn it over to Whitehill Enterprises, and they will take care of the installation.

A date to unveil the mural has not been set yet.

Le Blanc said the goal is to have the mural finished by early December, but meeting that deadline will be dependent on the weather.

Mercy Hospital Joplin, which donated the land to the city for the park, is funding the mural effort, Le Blanc said.

Children should be registered in advance to participate. Registration can be submitted online at www.artfeedsmercymural.eventbrite.com.

About the park

Mercy Park was built at 26th Street and McClelland Boulevard, where St. John’s Medical Center was destroyed by the 2011 tornado. Mercy Hospital Joplin has a commemorative site next to the park.

Source: The Joplin Globe | August 10, 2017