Early in the coronavirus crisis, a cement wall on South Compo Road was painted with an encouraging message.
On Memorial Day it became an American flag.
Now, several panels on either side of the once-boring wall have been turned into colorful, creative murals.
And the artists are all kids.
The youngsters — ages 8 to 17 — had been avid participants in Homes with Hope’s After-School Arts Program (ASAP). Thanks to funding from the Drew Friedman Community Art Center — and the volunteer work of Artists Collective of Westport members — participants had worked on multiple projects, including 2 murals to liven their meeting space.
But when COVID-19 struck in March, that program — and everything else — shut down. With summer near, and restrictions loosening a bit, ASAP director Lynn Abramson contacted noted artist and Drew Friedman trustee Miggs Burroughs about the possibility of creating a community mural somewhere outdoors.
Betsy and Hal Kravitz happily offered their long wall at the corner of Hidden Hill as a canvas.
In these turbulent times, the young artists decided they wanted their mural to be filled with inspiring messages and images.
Miggs and fellow trustee Nick Visconti embodied their “stronger together” message by matching the ASAP students with Westport artist Elizabeth DeVoll. She helped them achieve their visions.
They recruited Connie Manna, another Collective member, to help execute the designs.
Work began Monday. The young artists spent several hours a day — fueled by goodies from Joey’s By the Shore, around the corner. (It helps that Betsy is the owner.)
The mural is done. The message is clear. In the words of one of the panels: “We Got This.”