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Cartoon "Bart" surfs downtown wall

RUTLAND - Jamal Reid, an artist, advocate for youth, and snowboard coach has collaborated with the teens at the Boys and Girls Club of Rutland to create a large spray art mural. For several months, Jamal has been visiting the Boys and Girls Club weekly teaching the teens about public art and mural making.

The children were also instructed that permission must be given before applying spray art in public or private areas. Graffiti art is illegal in many communities around the nation.

Club members began the mural in October when Reid taught the teens to write their names using stylized block lettering. Graffiti street-style lettering - often connected to gang activity - is illegal when sprayed on public and private property without permission.

From there, ideas were mixed and proposed for a large mural to be painted on the interior wall of the teen center at the Boys and Girls Club.

The teens came up with the idea of Bart Simpson snowboarding, symbolizing how the club is a place for teens to "chill" and be their rebellious selves. The mural is complete and the teens love it.

"It's so cool!" said teen club member Dusten Cormia. "It makes the Teen Center ours - we designed it and it says 'teens' - that's us."

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