Teaching artists Emida Roller and Shiloah Coley worked with teenagers at the Dane County Juvenile Court Shelter Home and the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center this summer to bring youth ideas and voices to the blank concrete walls surrounding the Shelter Home's driveway. While all previous Making Justice murals have been inside the facilities and unseen by the public, this project was a chance for youth residents to work with professionals to design and define a public-facing space for themselves and for future youth residents.
Students at Shelter took the design lead and provided most of the themes and physical effort, but the students at Detention also took ownership of the project quickly - having the idea to tie in elements from their previous summer workshops with teaching artists Carlos Gacharna and Audifax into the design. Old English lettering from Carlos’ workshop reading “We Matter” appears at the top of the mural, and a design from a student at Detention done in Audifax’s abstract painting workshop was translated into the jersey worn by the young man pictured looking into the mirror, seeing his future self. While students from Detention couldn't participate in painting the wall, students at the Shelter Home were able to safely work outside with Emida and Shiloah to remove the overgrown vegetation from the hill above, then clean, prep, and paint the wall.
Learn more about how all of the pieces came together for this project in the library IMPACT STORY - Bubbler in the time of Covid: Making Justice makes it work.