There it stands. Four sides, each illustrating the message. Original designs, drawn by nearby Clearwater Academy Art Class, were chosen and scaled to size by professional illustrator, Susi Galloway. The mural was painted by neighborhood children during a Labor Day event in the park, a "pot luck" of music, dancing and food celebrating the end of the summer. The event was orchestrated by Elyse Aronson, known as the children’s storyteller, Mz. Goose, the Modern Day Mother Goose, who lives in the neighborhood. Other organizations helped, especially Artists in Action International, an organization with headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, and the up and coming Plaza Park Neighborhood Association. Also on hand, were other local organizations, such as the Way to Happiness, the North Greenwood Neighborhood Coalition, Youth for Human Rights and the Drug-Free Marshalls, who obtained pledges from participants to be drug-free.
Last week, members of Clearwater Academy Art Class put the finishing touches on the mural under the guidance of their art teacher and muralist, Cara Dunning.
The mural will remain in the park, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue, between Jones and Plaza Streets in Clearwater, until September 22nd. "I embarked on events in Plaza Park and this mural because I saw a park where few children played, so concerned were they that drug deals occurred in the park," says Aronson. "We are using art to say we want children to take back the park so beautifully designed for them by the city."
- Tampa Bay Informer
The Good News Newspaper