The United Way building in south Lawrence has a new garden and mural that will please visitors year-round, thanks to some talented artists from the Boys and Girls Club.
Sixth-graders took on the artistic task a few weeks ago as part of a partnership with GaDuGi SafeCenter and the Douglas County AIDS Project.
“We talked to them about violence prevention and respect and identity and self-esteem, and that’s why the wall and the butterfly theme all kind of connects to what we’ve been talking about this summer,” explained Christie Dobson, GaDuGi outreach coordinator.
Artist and sixth-grader Tyler Cook thinks the mural will provide comfort to visitors at the building, 2518 Ridge Court. The artwork and garden are on the back side of the building.
“They’ll see that the people here that work here have a lot of passion, and they care a lot, just like the beauty of the paintings,” he said.
Dobson said GaDuGi hoped working with the children on artistic projects in Lawrence would encourage them to become responsible adult citizens in the future.
“Our mission is working together with the community to end all forms of sexual violence,” she said. “So that starts with bullying with little kids all the way up though sexual assault.”
Another mural participant, Maya Percich, said painting the piece has been a joy.
“It makes me feel good that I’m actually doing something for the community,” she said.
The mural, which features butterflies, flowers and a pair of ladybugs in love, is near completion, and the finishing brush strokes will be applied next week.