A new public wall mural project in Mitchell looks to do a lot more than just put paint on a wall.
The Palace City Art Project aims to create connections between local youths whilst also giving them a chance to contribute to their community.
“A kid whose dad works in construction looks at something he built and says ‘Hey, I did that,” said Katie Buschbach, organizer of the Palace City Art Project. “There's not a whole lot around the community that the kids can say they've created.”
Buschbach serves as the coordinator of Davison County’s Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, working with at-risk youths to put them on a better path. She decided that a wall mural is a great way to get youths involved in the community.
“I was trying to find a way to really connect the kids to the community and really have them buy into the community,” Buschbach said. “By having the kids buy into the community and buy into projects, it invests them into the community.”
Also a cross-country coach, Buschbach feels that sports get a lot of attention in the Mitchell community and tends to overshadow artistic accomplishments.
“We have some really talented kids in the area, and a lot of them don’t get the publicity they need,” Buschbach said, adding that the mural project will allow youths to express themselves in a positive way.
But the mural project isn’t only for children who may be in need of diversion. The event is open to all children ages 10 to 18.
“(The mural project) is trying to connect those kids in the community not only to a mentor, but also to other kids,” Buschbach said. “They can actually build relationships with other kids that they otherwise wouldn’t hang out with.”
The project, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 26, will be painted on the west wall of 112 East Third Avenue, as well as another on the east side of the building.
The design in the alleyway to the west will include a balloon painted by each child involved, and bubbles blowing will be painted on the east side.
Boyd Reimnitz, the building’s owner, jumped on the opportunity to donate the space for the Palace City Art Project.
“People get in their vehicle just to drive to Sioux Falls to look at the statues (on Phillips Avenue),” Boyd said. “Why would we not want to increase that community interaction in Mitchell?”
Boyd and his daughter Destiny Reimnitz pointed out Rapid City’s Art Alley and murals in other cities like Huron as effective tourism indicators.
“I think it will be really nice to have an additional wall art in addition to what we have at Second and Lawler,” Destiny said. “It’s just the beginning of what people can do to express themselves and for getting people involved.”
Buschbach said that the event has been filling quickly, and that spots are somewhat limited.
Her ideal registration is 30 youths, and there are only seven spots remaining. However, she didn’t set a hard cap, and will work to ensure any youth that wants to participate will be able to.
Youth under the age of 18 will be required to provide a waiver signed by their parents, and those under 15 are required to have their parents present.
All supplies for the project will be provided by a $2,500 grant from Northwestern Energy.
Anyone looking to get involved with the project should contact Buschbach through the Palace City Art Project page on Facebook.