With a grant received from the Community Foundation of Broward, the residents of Coral Springs, under the leadership of the Coral Springs Museum of Art, created a beautiful mural in Mullins Park.
The painting of a giant mural on the water tank in Mullins Park was as much an art project as it was a community building initiative. It was conceived this way, from the beginning.
During the second semester of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, as part of this initiative, the Museum produced dozens of events where members of the community shared their stories and created art together. Hundreds came, met other people, and left with new friends.
A contest to choose the mural design received more than 300 entries, and the colorful image submitted by Rebecca Lowy, a senior at Douglas High School, was chosen. Rebecca’s “Harmony In Our Community” design suggests a diverse group of individuals engaged in educational, artistic, and sports related activities, all of them having a joyful time together. The mural brings an instant smile to everyone’s face, and it certainly is a great addition to the beauty of our city.
Six professional muralists – Al Razza, Anne Marie Goss, Hong Nham, Janet Gold, Jan Kolenda, and Lester Salazar – were in charge of transferring Rebecca’s image to the wall. They outlined the entire design and went up on ladders and scaffolds to paint the upper part of the mural. The lower half, accessible from the ground, was reserved for members of the community. Almost 400 individuals signed up, and guided by the muralists, each one painted a small part of the mural. Those residents are now able to tell that they helped paint the mural, and this developed a sense of pride, ownership, and a desire to make the city more beautiful.
Overall it was very successful project. The community got involved and new relationships were established. Participants felt pride in belonging to the community, taking good care of it, and making it more beautiful. It is clear that those who took part will be inclined to participate in future community projects and, also, will be more likely to give their contribution in decisions regarding their city.
Collective art creation has proven to be a great way of building better communities.