By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
In addition to local artists creating and painting a new mural as part of Rosemont’s “It’s Art Here” program this spring, the park district is recruiting Rosemont students to participate in a new art mentoring program as part of the project.
The Rosemont Park District contacted art departments at Maine West High School and Algonquin Middle School in Des Plaines in an effort to spread information about the program and to interest students.
The district hopes to interest five to eight students in grades eight through high school in the new program. The mentoring project would team students with local artists developing the mural along with Chicago artist Rahmaan Statik, who is leading the project. They would get hands on experience in developing and implementing a major public art project.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students. They get to work with Rahmann, who has worked with students on several projects in Rosemont and in the greater Chicago area,” Rosemont Recreation Center Program Director Omar Camarillo told the Journal and Topics Monday. “The new students would begin the mentoring project in May and work about two to three days a week with the team. They would help with drawing and painting the new mural throughout the summer.”
The new mural will be painted on one end of the Rosemont Public Works building on Barry Street next to the new recreation center athletic fields. The same group of students who painted the first Rosemont mural on three buildings across from the front of the recreation center last year have been selected to do the new mural.
“The students who enter the mentoring program will not only get a great experience, but they get an opportunity to meet and work with artists and other Rosemont residents,” Camarillo said. “We are flexible with the scheduling for the kids. We want to work with them while they learn how a major art project is done from beginning to end.”
Camarillo urges any students interested in participating in the program to call him at the recreation center Monday through Friday at 847-298-1965 for more information and to apply.
Returning to work with Statik on the new mural are Rosemont residents Guillermo Echeverria, Maine West High School 2010 graduate and Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg student; Luis Garcia, Maine West 2009 graduate; Felipe Rodela, a Maine West 2010 graduate and Oakton Community College student; Juana Garcia, Maine West student; Andrea Garcia, Maine West student; Fabian Garcia, a 2011 Maine West graduate; Francisco Garcia, a 2009 West graduate and Oakton student; and, Maria Hernandez, a Maine West student.
The students returning to work on the mural are being paid. Students selected for the mentoring project will not be paid, however, Camarillo said. They could be hired for the next major project.
The group is meeting throughout the spring at the recreation center to develop the mural design, which is expected to focus on sport. A final design is expected to be presented to Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens this month for review and approval.
“Once it’s approved it's up to the weather as to when the drawing and painting will begin outside. But we expect it to be completed this summer,” Camarillo said.
The mural program was introduced by Mayor Stephens as part of the “It’s Art Here” campaign early last year. Chicago artist Statik was selected from several candidates by village officials last winter to lead the mural project which was unveiled August 2014 during the annual recreation center picnic.
Statik also recently completed a new Chicago Wolves mural on a Lunt Street building across from Allstate Arena.