Artist Spotlight: Junior brightens Emmorton Rec. Center with refreshing mural

Watson's murals hang on the side of the Emmorton Rec. Center.

Caitlin Wolfarth, News Editor

Junior Rita Watson beams with pride as she and junior Emily Patrick carry three large, brightly painted panels into the lower gym on a sunny June day.  Her Girl Scout Gold Award project is almost complete.  By October, all of her hard work will be displayed at the Emmorton Recreational Center.

Watson painted a mural for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, which is now displayed on the outside wall of the Emmorton Recreational Center.

It all started when Watson needed to come up with an idea to earn her Gold Award for Girl Scouts.  The Gold Award is the highest honor you can receive in the Girl Scout community, according to Watson, and involves “service to your community and making a big impact.”

“I got the idea because I love doing art and thought I could use my artistic ability to help around my community,” Watson said.

Before she could even start the painting, there was a lot of work that needed to be done.

According to Watson, the process started about a year ago and it took about eight months to “get things started up, write a plan, and meet with people.”  Painting the actual mural, however, took about a week.

“I went to the Harford County Government offices and I asked where I could beautify my community. They sent me to the Emmorton Rec. Center building. I talked to the head of the Emmorton Rec. Center and they loved the idea,” Watson said.

Watson, with the help of Patrick, painted the mural at John Carroll with the approval of Principal Madelyn Ball.

“I wanted to help Rita because we’ve been friends for a few years and I thought it would be a fun project to be involved with,” Patrick said. “It made me feel important to be part of such a big project.”

According to Patrick, Watson wanted to paint a mural that showed everything the center has to offer.  The mural consists of ballet shoes, a basketball hoop, a baseball bat and mitt, and a tennis ball and racquet.  These are some examples of activities people can participate in at the center.  This idea came from the center owner himself.  According to Watson, he wanted her to paint something “that shows what goes on in the center.”

“We took large panels, put them in the lower gym, and painted them. After they dried, we took them over to Emmorton and they stored them until they were hung,” Watson said.  The whole mural was hung on Oct. 25.

Watson will be receiving her Gold Award in April 2013.

Caitlin Wolfarth is a News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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