This past weekend, several of Surprise’s teens came together to give the Surprise Bicentennial Park’s Restroom a fresh painting of an old mural from 9 years ago.
Initially in June 2012, WHAM’s Teen Art Club was commissioned by the Surprise Police Department to paint a mural on the outside of the restroom at Nash and Elm streets in the Original Town Site of Surprise to prevent graffiti.
The teens came up with a mural called “Past, Present and Future; We are The Future of Surprise,” surrounding the four outside walls. After 9 years, as you can guess, the hot sun and weather had faded the mural.
Surprise Arts and Cultural Commission considers this mural piece as one of the must-see pieces of public art in Surprise, so they asked WHAM to again refresh the artwork. WHAM’s Teen Art Club along with Young Life Teens and several teens from Paradise Honors High School all partnered to do the painting.
Carree Tolle, director of WHAM’s Teen Art Club, and Jana McDonald, director of Young Life’s Teen Group, came together with their Teens for four days to start the work on the restroom.
At least 15 teens participated March 19-22, all bringing their skills and enthusiasm. The restoration of this important public art piece with teens volunteering speaks volumes to the efforts of our community Teens that are making a better environment.
The weather was beautiful, but standing in the sun against a cement wall was extremely hot and by 11 a.m. each day the work needed to be stopped. We got a great start and will have to work on it again on March 27-28 and longer if need be to complete it.
The teens are only available on weekends. If you’re out and about, drive by and see the progress.
Both WHAM and Young Life are helping to give our community’s teens a safe place to gather and learn. Our programs are supported by people like yourselves who donate funds to keep programs going.
Please visit our website at www.wham-art.org or visit WHAM at 16560 N. Dysart Road, Surprise, AZ, 85378; and to donate to Young Life use: Surprise — AZ166, 14601 W. Port Royale Lane, Surprise, AZ, 85379-4719 to send checks or go to their website and select Area Surprise at: surprise.younglife.org.
Connie Whitlock is founder and director of WHAM, The What’s Happening Art Movement. Visit wham-art.org.