Roc Paint Division: weeks 1-2

The Roc Paint Division crew is only a few weeks old, but the team is already gaining momentum and brimming with ideas!

During the first few weeks of the program,  our team has been focusing on getting to know each other and learning about the process of mural creation, with activities ranging from group ice-breakers and team-building activities, to viewing examples of mural work and artistic styles for inspiration, to beginning the initial ideas and sketches that will lead to cohesive concepts and designs for the eventual R-center murals. The theme we will be exploring throughout each of the murals is “Growth,” and our brain-storming sessions so far have focused on some of the many ways we can take that concept to the walls and the community.

week2planning-17Guest facilitator David Sanchez leads the group in some brainstorming and reflection. 

week2planning-10week2planning-2Participant Ariel Hicks watches a slideshow featuring a wide range of muralists. 


David Sanchez lead some memorable and fun team-building exercises. 


Justin’s introduction to spray painting was one of the highlights of the second week. For many of the youth participants, it was their first opportunity to try using spray paint, and it ignited a great deal of excitement for the painting portion of the project to begin- and also elicited some surprise that its not quite as easy as it looks! Justin will be leading the stenciling component of the mural creation, with each youth worker creating one stencil of their own to be used throughout the project. The team has been learning that cutting out the stencils is a big part of that process, but for many, its been a surprisingly enjoyable task.


The team then got into the work of cutting the stencils that will be used for the duration of the program.

week2planning-5week2planning-7week2planning-15week2planning-16La’ja working away at one of the (many )stencils. Photo: Dezmir Phelps. 

We also began brainstorming designs for the Roc Paint Division logo, which will be used as a group signature for all of our completed murals. A lot of excellent ideas have been generated already, and next week our meeting with our graphic designer Kari will help us to get something concrete in place, drawing on the concepts from each participant.


week2planning-14Gabriel at the Gantt Center computer lab on a reference-image search. photo: Dezmir Phelps

week2planning-13Ariel and Sarah chatting about some sketch possibilities.  

Next week we will be touring some of the murals that grace Rochester’s walls and delving further into concept development for our first mural design. Stay tuned for more.


Introducing: Roc Paint Division.


Welcome to Roc Paint Division- the City of Rochester’s 2016 Youth Mural Arts Program.

This spring, our team will be creating a series of murals to beautify the city’s R-Centers.

Under the leadership of local painters Sarah Rutherford and Justin Suarez and photographer Lisa Barker, a team of six youth will be collaborating on the process of creating public art- from the brainstorming stage all the way to signing off on the final completed piece. By the end of the program’s 13 weeks, 6 of the City’s R-Centers will showcase brand-new murals created by this team.

Each week we will be sharing our progress and introducing members of our team. Follow along to share this journey with us.