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Portside Arts Center Summer Campers To Design New Mural For St. Anne’s Senior Center

  A group of young artists visited St. Anne’s senior center on Friday to finalize the design for a new mural.

  The artists, a group of campers ages 8-12 from Portside Arts Center’s summer arts camp, are preparing a four panel mural to hang on the wall of the senior center.

St. Anne's Senior Center

St. Anne’s Senior Center

  “The theme is growth and harvest,” Sarah Damiano said. “It’s about growing, planting and learning about healthy eating.”

  Damiano is leading this group of campers, dubbed the Sharks, as they draw vines, plants and fruits for their mural. Greensgrow Farms’ Milkshake, one of famous pigs in Fishtown, has a starring role in one of the four panels.

  “We’re doing a panel of seeds being planted plus two panels of growth, Damiano said. “The last one will be the full garden, ready to feed everyone.”

  Damiano has worked with Portside since 2012 and is a fully committed arts educator. Though she encourages her students to reach for whatever medium speaks to them, Damiano personally leans toward drawing, painting and printmaking.

  To further encourage the Sharks, Portside Arts Center invited Cesar Viveros to chat with the campers. Viveros is a muralist who has worked with the Mural Arts Program. Notably, he designed “the Sacred Now” mural which was prepared for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. During the Pope’s visit, Viveros’ mural was signed by His Holiness.

  “Working together helps them to come together positively and learn,” Viveros said. “The feeling as they become part of the process motivates them and, ultimately, can open their minds.”

  During his visit, Viveros walked from table to table to ask campers what they contributed and what it meant to them. He demonstrated how he sketches and encouraged campers to make every drawing count.

  “It’s important for the kids to know that they can do this together like we all came together to paint the mural for the Pope’s visit,” Viveros said.

  Before the campers began to draw, they all visited Greensgrow’s garden, said Sam Perry, a counselor at the summer camp.

  Perry, an illustrator, made sure to show off the vines and flowers brought by a Greensgrow volunteer. She said that she wanted to make sure the campers had all the inspiration they needed.

  Portside Arts Center’s founding director, Kim Creighton said she is proud of the work her campers do at St. Anne’s.

   “We try and do outreach and class trips in addition to the arts work that we usually do,” she said. “This gives our students the chance to see their work displayed and to spend time in the community.”

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