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Young Artists Paint New Mural And Bring Creativity To Ford City Garden

Sunday May 4th, 2014, 8:26pm


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Youth, parents and artists alike gathered together to make a community garden more beautiful, Sunday afternoon.

With inspiration from National Youth Arts Week, Karlene Nielsen, community coordinator for Ford City Neighborhood Renewal gathered as many young artists as she could to participate in “Art All Around,” and paint a new mural in the community garden.

“The community garden is a space that we use for arts activities, in addition to growing food,” said Nielsen. “It brings community members together to have fun and this is just one of the many events that happen here throughout the year.”

With no specific guidelines given, Jay Raven, local Windsor and Detroit artist, attended the event to assist young artists and encourage them to express their artistic capabilities. Raven began sketching a small drawing in the corning of the white wooden board, and was followed closely by other youth who attended the event. Raven said Windsor is a fun place to be an artist, and this is a good place for it. He’s painted other murals for Nielsen in the past and just thoroughly enjoys art.

Kelly Baillargeon, part of the Leamington access program, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, brought a small group of county kids to the event today as well. She said Neighbors Helping Neighbors does a lot of the same types of activities Ford City Neighborhood Renewal does, so they try to cross paths whenever they can.

“We just want to support Ford City Renewal, we think what they’re doing is excellent and it’s really needed in the community,” said Baillargeon. “I think it’s crucial (youth involvement), they’re our future leaders so we’re trying to build leaders and civic engagement in getting the youth to be a part of the community. It’s a great thing.”

In addition to Raven leading a brand new mural, David Derkatz, 22, attempted to finish a mural he began five months prior to the event. Normally it would only take two or three days, but Derkatz has been spreading his piece out over the span of five months. He said he just hasn’t been able to get down to finishing it, but with this week being Youth Art Week, be figured it would be a good time to get it done.

Derkatz began graffiti as an art when he was young and he said it’s grown with him as he matured. He believes art is crucial in the world, specifically in youth.

“It’s cool that we have at least 10-15 people out here today, but the more people pursue their inner artist, the more creative as humans we could be,” said Derkatz. “And then the more local festivals come up and the more art-like foundations present themselves in Windsor. I think it’s pretty important as youths to take that first step in to art.”

Painting murals wasn’t the only activity Nielson had in store for the youth today. She also brought water bottle planters and flowers for the youth to decorate and bring home as an early Mother’s Day gift. She said National Youth Arts Week really brings the communities together, and to her there’s nothing more important.

“The nice thing about Windsor Youth Arts Week is having all of these activities concentrated in one week, people can go online and see all the activities listed and kind of pick and choose what they want to be involved in,” said Nielson. “It’s really special that Windsor takes part in that because it’s a national strategy so exposing youth in our community to arts opportunities that maybe they hadn’t known before I think it’s really important and I think that’s what this week does.”

National Youth Arts Week continues through May 7th, with many other activities scheduled throughout the week. For more information, visit

Jay Raven, local Windsor and Detroit artist, led the mural painting in the Ford Community Garden in celebration on National Youth Arts Week.

David Derkatz, 22, attempts to finish another mural he begun five months prior to the Art All Around event. He had plans to finish it during Youth Arts Week.

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