Teens express visions of unity in mural contest

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Unity is simple: It's about people and communities coming together.

That's why when 15-year-old Bridget Middough decided to enter the Kenai Teen Center's mural contest -- with it's theme of unity -- she simply drew a group of teen-agers under the words Kenai, Soldotna and Nikiski.

"It represents the cities," she explained.

Apparently, her peers approved of the visual representation.

Saturday afternoon, amid a chorus of cheers and jeers, Teen Center assistant supervisor Monica Johnson announced that Middough's drawing had been voted the winner of the contest.

As a prize, the Kenai Central High School freshman will receive a $100 savings bond from First National Bank.

Her drawing also will be converted into a large mural to adorn the wall of the Teen Center, which is upstairs in the Kenai Recreation Center.

Johnson said the contest started as a way to offer teens something to do over the holiday break. Teens were invited to take a sheet of paper and draw their visions of unity. The entries then were hung on a wall in the center, where teen-agers and city employees voted on their favorites.

And it was quite a race. In the end, Bridget's drawing received only one more vote than a drawing by 15-year-old Isaac Gilbert.

Gilbert, a sophomore at KCHS, said he entered the contest to win the money and see his creation painted on the wall.

While his bank account didn't get any bigger with the second-place finish, Gilbert may still have a hand in the final mural.

"We want you to help with the mural," Johnson told Gilbert after announcing the contest results. "We want other kids to help, too."

Johnson said the final mural will be a group creation, not only by teens at the center, but also members of the community.

The center is seeking donations of paint and brushes, as well as help from Kenai Peninsula College art professors or area high school art teachers to complete the mural.

"We want to do something for the community, to involve the community with the Teen Center," Johnson said.



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