It’s past 9 am on Friday, Aug. 2. Three teenagers wearing AAMC volunteer t-shirts stand in front of a blank wall covered in navy blue paint. They’re chatting back and forth, exchanging ideas they’re excited about – like where they’re going to paint a polar bear or a penguin. They pull out their cell phones, scroll through Google Images and quickly regroup to discuss.
“I’ll start with the mountains,” says Janine Avante.
Janine is working with Jayden Harrold and Caitlin Doherty on painting AAMC’s latest tunnel mural. Janine and Jayden learned about the opportunity while volunteering at the hospital. They shared the opportunity with their friend Caitlin. The team of artists are working on beautifying one of the pastel walls near the IS Help Desk office.
But it’s not all about embellishment. The mural carries a message.
“We had the idea to pay tribute to the environment because it’s something we need to be more aware of,” says Janine, while she starts to sketch an outline of tall mountains on the wall. “Our schedules at school are usually filled with music classes, so when we learned about this opportunity, we thought it would be cool because we never really get the chance to do art like this.”
This project is part of their Performing and Visual Arts Internship through Broadneck High School, where they are all ascending seniors. Janine and Jayden are in orchestra. Caitlin is in band.
Jayden drafted the mural sketch at home prior to painting the wall. “When employees walk down the hallway, I hope they think about how the work they do here affects everyone everywhere and continue to take care of the environment,” he explains.
An hour goes by and the wall is covered with several outlines. Jayden is standing on a stool painting green brush strokes on the upper left of the wall to portray the Aurora Borealis. Janine is in the middle using a white pencil to sketch the Rocky Mountains. Caitlin is standing on the far right of the mural detailing the snow on each mountain peak.
“Some employees walking by already told us they like how different this wall is from the rest,” says Caitlin. “We hope to bring environmental awareness because denying that we need to take care of it won’t make the problems go away,” she adds. “Awareness and acknowledgement is the first step.”
The volunteers hope to complete the mural by the end of the month.