Gila County Juvenile Detention Facility Manager Kathy Coker does not believe that kids who run afoul of the law should in a place completely devoid of character and cheer.
So, she found an artist to help liven up the place.
Artist Larry Brown of Handteq Studios stepped up to create a mural for the kids to paint on a wall in the facility’s courtyard.
“The kids in detention have painted a mural to make a better detention center,” said Coker.
The mural represents the landscape of southern and northern Gila County, from saguaro cactus to ponderosa pine trees. (To see pictures of the mural in progress please visit: http://www.handteqstudios.com/Detcenterpics.html).
To celebrate the completion of the mural, Teasie Colla, detention education specialist from the Arizona Supreme Court visited the detention center in Globe to meet with the students and artist.
Colla, who provides funding for the detention education programs in the state, was delighted by what she saw.
“The healing effects of the arts cannot be ignored. But what’s equally important is the collaboration that needed to occur between detention education and detention administration to make this happen,” said Colla.
Coker hopes through the success of this endeavor more programming will be offered to the students in the detention center to complement their educational programming.
About 10 staff and visitors plus five detained youth attended the unveiling.