Intake Room mural
During a week-long residency over the detention classroom winter break, Wisconsin artist, Jerry Butler, worked with students at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center to bring color and warmth to the "intake room" in which all residents sit for the period of time while they are checked into the facility from the reception center.
Created with students after a series of workshops focused on the masks we wear in public versus private, and being truthful about how we treat one another during vulnerable times. Jerry used student creations from prior sessions, and through student feedback we were ultimately led to the central theme of love, and the image focusing on the heart. Then he worked with the students over 5 days of winter break to grid and scale the final design from paper to the wall, and then paint.
One student individually worked to design, scale, and paint something other than the group design -- a hole in the wall looking onto a winter landscape, saying "Even though its not real, I just think it would be really nice to see some fresh air before going into the secure facility. I call it the 'fresh air hole'."
Read more about the project in this Wisconsin State Journal article!
The intake room is the room where youth change out of their personal clothes, turn over their belongings and receive an orientation to the detention facility. This mural is now the backdrop that all incoming youth view while sitting across from staff during the intake process.