Mural unveiled near Genesee St. and Frost Ave. in Rochester
Posted at: 09/24/2012 10:45 PM
| Updated at: 09/24/2012 11:26 PM
By: Don Hudson | WHEC.com
We all know art can inspire, but can it change a teenager's life? Can it change a neighborhood?
A recently unveiled public art project in Rochester hopes to do both.
A few weeks ago, a wall on the side of Johnie's Grocery Store was dull, dirty and brown. But thanks to the Center for Teen Empowerment, it is now bright, vibrant and colorful. A simple change that supporters also hope changes lives.
Those who live near Genesee and Frost in Southwest Rochester can't help but notice the mural painted on the side of Johnie's Grocery Store.
Lydia Boston is a mother who says, "I see my two kids. My son and my daughter. It's beautiful. I see myself."
The massive mural, sponsored by teen empowerment, was officially unveiled in front of a small crowd on Monday night.
Jennifer Banister, is part of the Center for Teen Empowerment. She says, "Just the reaction to the colors, the life has been really positive."
Those involved in its creation hope it sends a powerful message of hope to teens in the area, helping them to forget about the depressing boarded up houses just a few feet away.
News10NBC wanted to know what teens really thought about the mural.
Joseph Wright, 15, says, "I like it. It's helpful for the city and the community."
Shyasia Reeves, 13, says, "It helps them stay off the streets and coming up here selling drugs."
Shantese Wright, 16, says, "I think it made a difference in those who live, but those who are out on the streets right now, I don't think it made a difference cause they do the same thing over and over again."
Jennifer Banister with Teen Empowerment hopes the mural and the message will eventually get through to even those teens.
Banister says, "I just had a young man pull me aside and say this is the most positive thing he has seen in this corner in a long, long time."
She hopes this mural will be the first in a series across Rochester.
Banister says, "There's empty canvasses everywhere that are just decaying and to have something that replaces that automatically brings something more to the moment."
The mural was painted by master artist Eder Muniz. Several neighborhood teens also contributed to the paintings as paid apprentices.