2016 Mural Contest Third-Place Winner: 'One Step at a Time'
Congratulations to Wichita Children’s Home (WCH) in Wichita, Kansas, third-place winner of the 2016 Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) Runaway and Homeless Youth Mural Contest. For the sixth year, grantees of FYSB’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Program were given the chance to win the materials to paint a mural in their facilities. A jury of FYSB staff members and young people from Child and Family Charities – Gateway Division, last year’s winning agency, picked the winner and two finalists.
Here is the third-place artwork and accompanying essay. You can see all of this year’s entries in our 2016 mural contest slideshow.
This mural concept and sketch was driven and created by youth participating in Art Group held at Opportunity Zone, a drop-in center for homeless youth and a program of WCH. Youth created and sketched out their ideas for a mural they would want in a WCH program, which were then combined together into one mural sketch. The theme of the collaborative mural is about growth and the journey to a fulfilling life. Many of the youth who are receiving services from WCH have embarked on their own personal journeys of growth and frequently share their struggles and successes with the supportive staff. The “One Step at a Time” mural is symbolic of this journey.
The “One Step at a Time” mural depicts a nature landscape scene of mountains, a river, wooded forest area, and a sunset. Along the sides of the river are footsteps that are representative of the journey. Along the way, the youth may encounter obstacles (mountains, woods, etc.) and lose sight of the mission and purpose of their journey. But with the assistance, encouragement, and support of WCH services (represented by two sets of footsteps), they have the resources they need to reach the other side of the mounts and soak in the beautiful sunset.
The quote at the top and title of the mural (One Step at a Time) is a reminder that the journey to growth is a process that is taken with one step at a time.