Bloomington students paint second chances

By WEEK Producer

October 10, 2013 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 6:40 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- The Bloomington Regional Alternative School partnered with the Bloomington Business Association to create a mural on the side of 121 N. Main Street. Mural artist and educator, Joel Bergner directed the project and also painted the mural with the students. It was a two week project. About twenty students were selected to take part. After a couple days of technique workshops with Bergner, students created a direction and master theme for the masterpiece.

"They chose the theme of second chances and rebirth, and that is the theme of the school--a second education for student who for some reason or another didn't make it in the traditional school system," said Bergner.

"If you don't give people a chance, you never know their potential--what they can do and what they're capable of," said Christyana Williams, Regional Alternative Sophomore.

Students painted messages and poetry on the mural, using techniques they learned from the workshops.

"This is very different, " said Katie Nichols, Student Services Liason. "It's a great experience for everyone... for the students... for downtown."

Bergner said that this project gave students a chance to prove themselves to the community.

"They often don't feel like they are part of the community... This project really gets them to contribute now, " said Bergner. "As teenagers, they get to contribute to the community and feel [like they are] a part of things, and the community get to see them doing something really good too."

The reveal will be on Saturday at 3pm at 121 N. Main Street in downtown Bloomington.

"[My mother] thinks I always get into trouble... Now she can see I am doing good, and I do know how to do good things," said Williams.

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