Artists will resume work today on a 113-foot mural, having secured approval for the project from the city's arts commission in a special meeting Thursday.
Van Go Mobile Arts artists began the 10-week project in February. After much planning, when it was time to paint the wall, it discovered permission to complete it was required from the Lawrence City Commission.
Lynne Green, Van Go executive director, proposed the mural idea to the city commission on March 27. That body then referred the issue to the Lawrence Arts Commission.
Thursday night, the arts commission unanimously approved the mural, which will be created by teen artists on the exterior north side of Van Go's headquarters, 715 N.J. The mural will stand 16 feet high, 113 feet long.
Artists have already sketched the mural but haven't begun painting it.
Green said she has received support from all areas of the community, and that's what she tries to teach the underprivileged teens.
"Community is a big part of what we try to teach the kids," Green said. "This project has helped build confidence, self-esteem and will allow them to make a permanent contribution to Lawrence."
Green has hired three Kansas City mural artists, Joe Faus, Alicia Gambino and Jesus Ortiz, to oversee the project.
"They're the greatest group of kids I've ever worked with and they're anxious to get started," Faus said.
Van Go teen Anna Sorenson explained the importance of the mural to arts commissioners.
"This program has almost literally saved my life several times," she said.
Sorenson is one of 16 teens working on the mural at Van Go. They work 10 hours a week after school. The also receive job training and have the opportunity to create saleable works of art.
Green said the project is scheduled for completion by April 26. She said a public dedication celebration is planned for May 11.