Backpacks and Phanny Packs! A collaboration with Free Range Equipment
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Amara Mural, Seattle.
Amara is a community based nonprofit organization serving children in foster care. This final mural has been installed on the southern edge of Amara’s headquarters, at 5907 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. in Seattle. Amara commissioned the mural to symbolize the journey children take through the foster care system, as well as their efforts to recruit a larger, more diverse pool of foster families to match the population of kids in the system.
My design, “A Journey of Love” won the mural competition and was painted by Urban Artworks, an organization that works with local teens to create public art in the Seattle area. Through Urban Artworks’ program, at-risk youth moving on from the juvenile justice system interact with caring adults, receive positive engagement during non-school hours, and find a creative outlet, all while they build employment skills (and their résumés), earn income, and build a sense of connection to the community in which they live and create art for. Click here to see images of the mural painting in progress.
MY DESIGN INTENT:
Every child that Amara serves is the hero of his or her own unique story and faces a special journey to a stable, long-term home and family. This mural design invites the community to follow four children on their extraordinary journey through a world with families at the center of each universe they encounter. Each new environment they enter presents them with a world of possibilities, love, and even a little magic – the spirit of childhood.
Above all, this artwork confidently defines the energy around transitions as reinforcing, safe, affirming, and beautiful. Supportive and whimsical characters (from magical origami cranes, to friendly fish and majestic whales) smoothly shepherd the children into every scene. They create a path for the kids, just as Amara, foster families, and the community do. The kids enter each new world jubilantly, finding themselves surrounded by families and tenderness. This uplifting design is a reflection of Amara’s beautiful work told through the voice and imagination of children. Their journey elevates the children and the final scene reminds us all of Amara’s fundamental goals as it greets visitors to Amara’s Center for Fostering and Adoption.