Mural at the Academy

The Academy, a community youth center serving a district of the Housing Authority, unveiled a mural created by Ellen Byrne. This mural captures the diversity of the youth who attend the Academy and the diversity of the world that they see around them.

In her creative process, Ellen met with the youth at the Academy to get their visions, opinions, and thoughts.

“What inspires you? Who inspires you?” Ellen asked the youth.

One eager participant said, “My mom! Because she loves me!”

The positive energy from the youth kept flowing in this session which helped to influence and inspire the mural’s creation. The youth shared thoughts and ideas of what reminded them of Frederick. Things such as playing basketball with friends, the Catoctin Mountains, field trips to the Baltimore Aquarium, the Academy’s student success program, tutoring, bicycling in downtown Frederick, and using the rock-climbing wall were all things of note to the youth. One young boy even mentioned his love for chipmunks reminding him of Frederick.

The unveiling was held on September 26, and as an extra surprise the youth were gifted t-shirts courtesy of the Frederick Book Arts Center (FBAC). FBAC made shirts of the mural to give the youth a piece of Frederick to carry with them and proudly wear around town. This t-shirt was inspired by the connection that the Academy has to FBAC where FBAC is now teaching youth the art of screen printing. This is helping young people to gain valuable skills and knowledge that they can use later in life when looking for a job.

The unveiling was a happy and exciting occasion for the youth as they saw their artistic influence adorn the walls of the Academy.

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