Local artist, Isaac Nicholas Caruso, 31, will design and paint a mural on the front of The Bob & Renee Parsons Place for Art and Transformation building.
Set to begin outlining the mural on the outside of the Free Arts building the week of March 23, he was selected by the Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona for the organization’s new building at 352 E. Camelback Road.
The new building was largely funded by grants from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. A longtime supporter of Free Arts, the Foundation has granted more than $4 million to the organization during the past six years, according to a press release.
A native Phoenician, Mr. Caruso is a creative director who “paints powerful and uplifting public art that gives communities a visual identity,” the release said, noting how he tries to improve the world through public art and enjoys involving the community in his work.
“The new building will allow us to reach more children in need,” said Alicia Sutton Campbell, executive director, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, in a prepared statement.
“Our vision was to create an iconic building on Camelback Road and the mural on the front is going to be something everyone sees as they drive by. We’re excited to see what Isaac creates!”
In a special partnership with Free Arts, Mr. Caruso will work with two young adults from the Free Arts alumni program. Serving as apprentices, they will assist him on the major paint days, according to the release.
On Saturday, March 28, Free Arts was going to hold a community paint day with children from local shelters and foster care group homes, board members, alumni, and volunteers, but due to current health concerns, only Mr. Caruso and his Free Arts alumni apprentices will work on the mural that day.
The mural is set to be complete by April 8, the release noted.
Mr. Caruso, the release said, first heard about Free Arts from his father who was a a high school social worker.
“I have always wanted to collaborate with this organization because I have heard about the incredible work they do with children who have experienced trauma. In these strange times, we need to focus some of our thoughts on community and creative exploration to maintain a healthy psyche.
I look forward to working with some of their alumni and making a profound contribution to our community with this amazing team of healers,” Mr. Caruso said in a prepared statement.
The children served by Free Arts have experienced combinations of family trauma, homelessness, and violence, the release described.
To help build resilience and begin the healing process, Free Arts provides mentoring, a caring community, and an opportunity to express themselves while learning new skills.
For more information on Free Arts: FreeArtsAZ.org.