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Graffiti cleanup turns seven

The annual summer graffiti cleanup involving Border City youth is now in its seventh year and once again young painters are volunteering to put their artistic skills on the line to provide a beautifying esthetic.

The second session for the summer is seeing paint going on the wall in the alleyway behind Giant Tiger downtown.

Joseph MacDonald is one of the volunteers painting for the first time. He and the other young artists are enjoying covering graffiti in the summer sun.

“It’s really fun because I like painting and it makes it a lot easier when there is a lot of people painting as it gets done a lot faster. And even if you’re not that great a painter, you can still do it; because you can do what he just did [refers to another painter who made a brushstroke] and go like that; (laughter) in the middle.”

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The Lloydminster Youth Centre along with youth from the LGBTQ+ Society of Lloydminster and youngsters with the RCMP and others are onboard for the graffiti cleanup.

City planners are grateful for the support from Home Depot who is again supplying all of the painting materials.

Community development coordinator Amber Fast explains the artwork that comprises the mural.

“We have some graphics from the Lloydminster mental health navigation tool; so the hills and the road and we have some poppies. We have the Alberta wild rose, the Saskatchewan tiger lily and we also have some sweetgrass in there. We have added a youth peering out the window to symbolize this was done by the youth and the world is full of so many opportunities and challenges.”

The youth will have three more sessions every couple weeks and aim to sign off on the mural by August 25th.

In 2020 the Youth Graffiti Cleanup got the Award of Excellence for its involvement in strengthening ties between youth and community groups as they addressed social needs.

Past locations include two murals in the alley on the 5000 block of 48 Street north, the old water tower plant on Highway 17, as well as the 29th Street, 55th Avenue and Anniversary Park bike trails.

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