COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An 18-foot-wide mural will be painted throughout the weekend at the Greater Columbus Convention Center during the NAMTA or International Art Materials Association.
The piece is called “Field Day” and the award-winning designer says he and the organizations that commissioned him asked neighborhood youth for input during the design phase. When finished, the mural will be placed inside the Crittenton Community Center on Columbus’ east side which is run by non-profit Directions For Youth and Families.
“I think it was really like inspiring for myself having the students at that center challenge me and demand that their voice was represented – the images they wanted to se from the tug-o-war to kick ball to all these things that inspire them that let them connect with each other. They demand that be represented,” said Miles Balfour, mural designer and CCAD senior and Fort Hayes alumnus.
“The beauty of is that is as Miles alluded to is that this is what they wanted others to see about their community, what they do, what they look like how they feel how much they are a family together and I do believe this mural represents that. And to anyone who’ll come into our facility or be part of the services we provide, they’ll be able to see it,” said Mary Margaritas, the director of Directions For Youth and Families.
Volunteers and students painted the mural throughout the weekend. Working artists from the trade show were also able to add on to and donate to the project. “This is a really great opportunity to demonstrate how people can come together to use art making, and in this case a mural, as a focus and do it in a way that transforms all of the communities that are participating,” said David Pyle of the International Art Materials Trade Association. He traveled from Colorado for the conference.
Balfour says the community is ready for this work and others like it. “The community of Columbus is a culture that has been developing throughout the years and we’re finally letting the youth, even different people from across the nation, join together and start advocating for what needs to be shown and what needs to be shared,” said Balfour.
The Directions For Youth and Families director says the new community center is set to be complete this summer, likely in July.