With their own splashes of youthfulness and artistic talent, teens with the Sequim Boys & Girls Club are looking to paint the town.
Luke Kisena, activity leader for the club, recently created a program called “Paint the Town” to excite teens to volunteer while exploring their creative side by painting murals for businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“Our goal is to give back to the community through art and creativity,” Kisena said.
He’s found teens are much more responsive to doing projects like this than asking them to pickup garbage and weed gardens.
“This is our way to give back,” he said.
In the community, Dan Kerber, owner of Rock Plaza Fun Center, allowed teens to paint a video game homage in one corner of his arcade. He gave creative control to them for the graphics-infused alien mural.
Kisena said they chose the arcade because its one of the few places offering a safe and fun place for children to hang out.
“We consider it an honor to be able to give back to a local business and to someone like Dan Kerber for allowing us to create something beautiful for our town,” Kisena said.
The teen group’s first mural lies on the north wall in the Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Room, also called The Club. They’ve since added another design on the east wall.
Kisena’s goal is to have the teen club covered with paintings and he and others want to paint a shark’s mouth as the entrance to their room.
The teens’ next mural is tentatively set for the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society.
Americorps volunteers are making a community garden behind the Sequim club and teens plan to paint a mural on the wall facing it, as well.
Jessie Borries, teen coordinator, said she hopes the project helps the community become more accepting of teens while bringing them more into the community.
Another of Kisena’s goals is to encourage students to use different artistic styles and learn methods in the process.
“This creates safe things for them to do,” he said.
Paint the Town’s artists include Josh Finch, Halie Wilson, Mike Wilson, Mandi England and Taylor Howell. Membership is open to all Sequim teens.
Howell said painting is fun and some places she’d like to paint a mural, with permission, would be at the Sequim Transit Center and the Sequim Skate Park.
England said they are in talks with Sequim High School to repaint a “Go Wolves” sign.
“There’s nothing better than having your work seen in the community,” Kisena said.
For projects, teens provide paints and supplies but are open to donations for new projects (see box for information).
The Club, for Sequim teens, sees 40-60 students a day.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.