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Mural brings youth leaders' vision home

Times staff

The Frankfort Future Leaders Advisory Council is seeing months of planning and preparation come to fruition as a new mural went up this week at 51 West Event Center in downtown Frankfort.

“We wanted to focus on something that would add beauty to our downtown and would allow people to be a part of the project,” council member Daniel Garcia said. “We feel that this mural can bring people together and enhance the downtown atmosphere.”

The artwork is the product of a collaboration between FFLAC, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and the city of Frankfort. A city of Frankfort press release notes that “it reflects the student dedication to promoting quality of place in Frankfort.”

Recent Frankfort High School graduate Jada Redmon presented the mural concept to the Historic Preservation Commission and is happy to see the project finished before leaving for college in the fall. The project also provided her with insight into what is involved with making a community project come to life.

“We talked about finding a local artist but weren’t sure how to find someone locally with mural experience,” she said in the release. “It was important for us to have quality artwork that would last for a long time. Fortunately, we were able to partner with Tippecanoe Arts Federation who walked us through the process of choosing an artist and reviewing design ideas.

“Our design had to be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, and we had to find a building owner willing to let us paint on their wall. It took a lot of work and planning, but we think it was worth it and that it really adds something special to the area.”

Advisory Council member Isaac Hunter was part of the team that presented the mural idea to the building owner, Dr. Jill Snyder.

“We thought 51 West was the perfect location for this mural,” he said. “We recognize that Dr. Snyder has invested a great deal in Frankfort and this is a way for us to partner with someone who believes just as much as we do in celebrating the unique and wonderful attributes Frankfort has to offer.”

Snyder owns several buildings and businesses in Frankfort and was pleasantly surprised when the students approached her with their mural proposal, according to the release.

“I was delighted to have my building chosen for this project,” she said. “This mural adds vibrancy and character to 51 West Event Center and will be a great location for photos.”

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes was encouraged by the interest taken by the youth group in the development of the city.

“Public art plays an integral role in our downtown revitalization strategy,” he said. “I am proud to partner with the dedicated FFLAC members who have worked very hard to bring unique artwork to our community. Their interest in and dedication to improving and beautifying our downtown – and our entire community – is inspiring. These young leaders truly are the future of Frankfort.”

The mural was painted by Lafayette artist Mitchell Schuring of Metabyte Creative. The city of Frankfort will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new mural during this year’s Hot Dog Festival, which takes place on July 26-27.

The Frankfort Future Leaders Advisory Council plans a Quality of Place project each year, the release notes. Past projects include the gateway signs at entrances to the city and the Gem City Sculpture and the Hot Dog bench both located on Clinton Street.