Students give artists' touch to Franklin Park Midas

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Members of Hester Junior High School's Art Club took a day off from school to bring life to a blank wall on Mannheim Road.

The students, teacher and supporters met Oct. 21 on the south side of the Midas auto repair shop, 2611 N. Mannheim Road in Franklin Park, to paint a mural on the building's blank wall.

Summer Lawrence, 13, a member of the club for three years, noticed the blank wall and thought something artistic could be done with it.

Luckily, her uncle Ismael DeLeon is the shop's manager.

"She's always done art everywhere," DeLeon said. "[The mural] was too much work for her, so we reached out to the school."

Joe Ronduelas, Midas' district manager, thought it was a good idea as well, so they invited the club to come out and use the building as their canvas.

"It's a good way to give back to the community to get the schools involved," he said.

Lawrence said being creative through art is very important to her.

"I like that I can express myself through it, like what I'm feeling," she said.

Before the painting got started, the school's art teacher, Carissa Zill, worked with members of the art club for weeks to come up with ideas for the wall.

"The kids submitted their designs for the mural and we took a bunch of their designs and collaged them into one," she said.

The mural is made up of different things that represent the village of Franklin Park, like the trains that run through the village, the village's water tower, parks, and two hands coming together to make a heart symbol symbolizing tolerance and diversity.

Laila Corona, 12, has been a member of the art club for a year and enjoyed putting her artistic skills to work.

"I really wanted to do this," she said. "Everybody is communicating to make this big mural and it's coming out really great."

Zill said she hopes that through art projects like this, her students become stronger individuals.

"They learn to work together and just get out there into the community," she said. "They learn to get out there and use their voices. They learn the power that they can contribute."

This article originally appeared on Chicago Tribune

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