WACO, Texas: When The Cove changed facilities earlier this summer, they wanted to create their large, blank gray wall into a mural. Two months later and through a partnership with Creative Waco, aspiring local artists are ready to unveil it to the current students.
Julie Milstead, a teacher at Midway Middle School, was the project lead and worked with the artists through zoom meetings before putting brush to wall.
“I just really wanted to show their story,” Milstead said. “When we first met they all got to tell me their story of how they came across with The Cove and what they wanted to show and it was so inspiring and I just really wanted to do a good job helping them represent that story.”
The program, which Creative Waco calls an “artprenticeship,” even included former Cove students. The experience was meant to show them how to go through with bigger art projects than their used to and teach them skills like time management, working with a team and budgeting.
The mural shows a bird flying in the air with a trail of puzzle pieces lying behind it.
“The puzzle pieces…represent all the people that help the Cove students,” The Cove’s community relations coordinator Harold Brown said. “This bird represents The Cove student and it just represents the student being able to overcome anything that comes in their way.”
Of all the ideas kicked around, the bird image is what appealed to the artists the most.
“This one stuck out to me and the other apprentices because we felt like it spoke about what The Cove was and so we really were vying for this one a lot,” Brenisha Thompson said. “We were glad this was the one that got picked.”
For the current Cove students, a relatability to the mural could be the most impactful part.
“I’m definitely hoping they will be inspired and just find their own meaning behind the mural,” Milstead said. “Everybody can find a little bit of them inside this.”