Homeless youth paint U-District mural

The eye-catching corner of N.E. 45th St. and 15th Ave. N.E. has a new face.

The retaining wall next to the University District Youth Center had been the site of a mural painted by youth for the past 10 years, but time took its toll while tags and graffiti obscured it. The Sanctuary Art Center decided give the wall a facelift as their fall project.

They hired Jeffery Pankey of the Artistic Media Group to instruct painting, lead design sessions, and co-ordinate execution of the final project. Six youth participated.

Sanctuary Art Center (SAC) is a small non-profit art studio serving homeless youth ages 13-25 in the University District. SAC provides an environment that encourages creativity and discovery through the use of artistic media.

SAC also offers street-involved youth a place of peace and contemplation removed from the noise and chaos of the street, while creating healthy relationships with caring adults.

The Mural Project is one of many programs led by the Sanctuary Art Center that offers street youth an opportunity to gain work experience and a paycheck, see their work displayed in public, work with professionals, build their resumes, and make valuable connections with members of the business and art communities in the U-District and Seattle.

The mural artists and supporters will meet for a reception on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Sanctuary Art Center (1604 N.E. 50th St., second floor of University Lutheran Church) to present the youth with their paychecks and offer congratulations, thanks.

Donors to the Mural Project include Ballard Parker Paint, Stone Way Rodda Paint, Maple Leaf Ace Hardware and the Glaser Foundation.

SAC also cites the support of the University District Youth Center, Metro Transit (especially Mary Bemowski, area planner) and Paul Sorensen with the Bus Shelter Crew Team.

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