January 27, 2022

Youths adorn C4Art’s exterior with wood mural designs

Teens hone their creativity

Katie Keyser/Living and Leisure Editor

Elise Wagner of Cortlandville talks about the latest teen mural project Wednesday at the Center of the Arts of Homer, this time wood cutout creations on the box office exterior.

HOMER — Elise Wagner of Cortlandville got a workout making her wood cut mural this summer at the Center for the Arts.

“It took a lot of time and effort,” she said on Wednesday at the 72 S. Main St., center.

She was up and down on her knees a lot, working on the design, painting and editing.

“It was fun but very time consuming,” the Homer school eighth grader said. “I think it turned out very cool.”

Nine teens took part in the center’s Summer Youth Mural Program, said Brookley Spanbauer, who directed the project with fellow Homer Junior High art teacher Lauren Nels.

The teens didn’t make a mural, per se, but amped up the exterior by the box office with large, colorful wooden bird images.

“The idea was a mosaic,” Spanbauer said. “Mosaic colors with a splash of glass.”

The students chose birds to create, which now are on the exterior side of box office.

Teachers magnified the silhouette they chose to get the size nailed down. Spanbauer and Nels cut out the shapes and the students designed their interior and chose their color scheme.

The wood cutouts are all birds, except a flower archway over a window.

“I am absolutely astounded with this year’s mural,” said Ty Marshal, executive director of the center, adding it lightens up the space. “The kids did amazing work.”

Marshal obtained grant funding from the New York Business Development Council, Brockway Foundation and the Breakfast Rotary Club.

Meldrim’s Paint Store in Cortland donated the paint and bought wood, Spanbauer said. Teens paid a $20 fee to participate in the two-month program, geared for ages 12 to 17.

“The kids wanted to be here,” Spanbauer said. “We’re so happy about it. The kids were independent and diligent.”

Leah Bouwens, 14, a Homer ninth-grader, painted a heron.

“It was really fun,” Bouwens said. “I really enjoyed coming every day and being able to paint with all my friends.”

Katie Keyser/Living and Leisure Editor

Leah Bouwens of Homer next to the blue heron she designed and painted.