Brenna Draper, a junior studying art education, has partnered with Jefferson County Lake and Upper Valley Child Advocacy to paint a mural on the cement walls separating the lake and U.S. Highway 20.
The Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center commissioned Draper to paint this mural after she submitted an application to the center to be a volunteer.
“I put on there that my major was art education and they emailed me back real fast and were like ‘We have a mural that we are doing. Do you want to do it?’ and that’s how I got involved,” Draper said. “It kind of just appeared to me.”
Emma Johnson, a junior studying Spanish, is collaborating on the project as well. Johnson has been a huge help in designing and beginning the project.
They also partnered with BYU-Idaho students Alexis Mahrt and Casey Frerichs to help come up with ideas for the wall.
“We powwowed and did some design sketching,” Johnson said.
It is important to the Upper Child Advocacy Center and Jefferson County Lake to have messages of suicide prevention and child protection in the mural. They also wanted themes of nature and community.
“Suicide prevention is really important, especially with COVID and everything,” Johnson said.
Through the message “you are enough,” Johnson hopes to prevent suicide because those words create a sense of purpose for everyone in the community.
“There’s things that can bring us together and we can help each other,” Johnson said.
For Draper, this project is personal because she is passionate about child advocacy. She wants this mural to help the community and make people aware of the resources out there to protect children.
Draper and her team have already finished one section of the wall. The message “you are enough” has already positively impacted the community.
“I’ve gotten a few people that drive by and get excited because they’re like ‘Oh, I needed that,'” Draper said. “I mean, it’s not all done yet, but they see ‘you are enough’ on the way to work and they are like ‘Thanks so much.'”
Draper knows the mural won’t say everything about child advocacy and suicide prevention, but she hopes people will still get different meanings out of messages
Draper estimates showing the finished mural in about three weeks if weather permits and if Draper can get enough volunteers.
Because of the massive size of the walls, Draper could use non-artistic volunteers to paint large parts of the wall. Artistic people can help with detailed work.
If anyone would like to volunteer they can email Draper at email@example.com for her schedule.