Kids Create Vibrant Mural at Skate Park

August 30, 2023
The Bedford Rec Department organized an art camp this summer to create a mural at the town skate park. Courtesy Image: Simply Sarah Art

Nikki Taylor and Sarah Scoville collaborated this summer to organize and run a week-long Bedford Recreation art camp where elementary kids designed and painted their own mural at the skate park.  

Sarah Scoville frequently teaches art classes at the Recreation Department and is the main organizer and leader for many outdoor murals around town. She worked on painting the colorful, patterned cement balls outside Davis School and on the utility box painting near Whole Foods. Scoville was the instructor for this summer’s public mural project. She assisted the children in organizing their ideas and gave them inspiration that translated into the burst of creativity, color, and positivity of the mural.

Nikki Taylor, Bedford Recreation Department Program Coordinator, organizes many youth programs, and the idea of child-led public art began with the Kid’s Club mural art camp that took place last summer. This mural was painted within the Kid’s Club space and it came out really well. The kids were very proud of their work and felt a strong sense of ownership of it. Taylor said that she and Scoville “are always looking for different ways to work together and this (art camp) is one kids really enjoy.” 

The Skate Park mural camp had 15 campers from grades K-5. One of the camp’s main goals was to teach kids the importance of public art, and how, through that, they are able to “take responsibility for their community and be a part of it and contribute to their community.” 

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The week was dedicated solely to the mural project and began with the kids individually drawing their own face or character. Scoville provided some examples of faces and features they could use in their drawing, and once they had their idea fully sketched out, all the campers combined their art to create the mural. 

In total, the mural is a collage of 15 unique and creative brightly colored faces and creatures. With a big group, this was the easiest and most efficient way to go about the project and allowed each camper to have a piece that is fully theirs, which is memorable and important. 

The mural covers up old graffiti on the skate park, which was a benefit, but not the main intention behind it. Taylor thinks it is nice how the mural brings some fun and beauty to the area in place of its former industrial look. The artists adore the finished product and are very proud of themselves. Since the mural is in a location that is made for kids, they will see their art frequently and take ownership of it. 

Providing youth with art programs and classes through the Rec Department means a lot to both Taylor and Scoville. Taylor shared her perspective that art is inclusive by its very nature; anyone can create it and derive meaning from it, regardless of age or skill level. She explained that when “people think of recreation, they think sports, but art is an interest of many. One of the major goals of recreation is to allow people to explore any interests they want, and art is especially one that brings the community together which is very important to me.”

“One of the major goals of recreation is to allow people to explore any interests they want, and art is especially one that brings the community together which is very important to me,” said Nikki Taylor, Bedford Recreation Department Program Coordinator.
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Bridget Sheahan is a Bedford High School, Class of 2024 student.

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Patty Dahlgren
August 31, 2023 9:11 pm

I think this is FANTASTIC! Wow what a collection! I’d love this on fundraiser t-shirt too!

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