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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Boys and Girls Club, NW team up to paint mural

NW+student+Sophia+Ceballos+helps+Adrian+Alvarado+paint+a+section+of+a+mural.+The+mural+will+hang+for+a+time+in+the+Boys+and+Girls+Club+center+before+moving+to+NW+Campus.+Photo+by+Casey+Holder%2FThe+Collegian
NW student Sophia Ceballos helps Adrian Alvarado paint a section of a mural. The mural will hang for a time in the Boys and Girls Club center before moving to NW Campus. Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian
NW student Sophia Ceballos helps Adrian Alvarado paint a section of a mural. The mural will hang for a time in the Boys and Girls Club center before moving to NW Campus. Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian
NW student Sophia Ceballos helps Adrian Alvarado paint a section of a mural. The mural will hang for a time in the Boys and Girls Club center before moving to NW Campus. Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

Children hunched over paint-covered panels intently wielding brushes or scrambled from table to table in search of the perfect color.

TCC NW Arts Coalition members mixed pain

t, directed the paintbrushes and made small talk with the painters.

The NW Arts Coalition had worked for two semesters to make this project happen. The students in the club teamed up with children from the Boys and Girls Club on Ellis Avenue in Fort Worth.

The students helped. The children painted.

When the panels are connected, they will form a mural about 20 feet by 3 feet, showing different areas of Fort Worth with various children’s faces.

The finished mural will hang at the Boys and Girls Club for a while and then be moved to NW Campus, said coalition adviser Winter Rusiloski.

“I love their [the children’s] raw and fresh outlook on art and life,” said Sharon Turner, a TCC student and coalition vice president.

She also liked how all the art mediums were involved with different steps in the process.

“Art can be so individualized,” Turner said.

But it took art instructor Heidi Lingamfelter’s digital skills to create the collaboration of Fort Worth scenes and children’s faces, art instructor Chris Cunningham’s skill with the physical construction of the pieces and the art students’ painting and child-control skills to make the project work.

Several coalition students wanted to work on the project because it aligned with their career goals.

Both Turner and Ryan Harvey said they want to become art teachers, so the real-life and on-topic chance to interact with children was exciting for them.

Sophia Ceballos, on the other hand, said she doesn’t know what she wants to do, but the opportunity to help with the project excited her.

“I don’t get to hang out with kids this age very much,” she said.

The project fit in well with the Boys and Girls Club’s after-school program, said branch director Arica Prado.

The children first completed their homework, then moved around to stations focusing on health and fitness, character, leadership and arts and crafts.

Every time the coalition arrived to work on the project, the children could volunteer to paint. The children didn’t have to work on the mural if they didn’t want to.

Harvey said some children returned all three times he helped with the painting.

Prado said working with students helped the children see a better future for themselves.

“A lot of the kids are from this community and never leave this community,” Prado said.

It’s nice when they are exposed to college students who look like them, she said.

In the communities around the Boys and Girls Club, the traditional social structure puts family first, work next and education last.

Seeing students who are in college, working and helping their community helps the kids realize they can have dreams bigger than their neighborhood and still not neglect their families, Prado said.

Things have gone smoothly, Harvey said.

“They have been acting great,” he said, “though we had a child paint a panel completely white after it was finished.”

But the paint has gone on the panels, and the panels are looking good.

Between banter of “Are you married?” “I did that one” and “I want to paint more,” three more panels were completed.

“They just really want to paint,” Harvey said.

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