A World of Hope
“A World of Hope” was created in collaboration with students from the Cheltenham Youth Facility located in Prince George’s County. Class Acts Arts, a non-profit organization based in Silver Spring, Maryland, solicited grant funding to support the work of mural artist Joey Tomassoni.
Under the direction of Mr. Tomassoni, Cheltenham students first worked on the conceptualization stage of the wall painting. Mr. Tomassoni provided drawing lessons and facilitated conversation that led to the theme of the wall painting: Hope.
After drawings were made by the students Mr. Tomassoni composed the image. The imagery was then drawn on three 4’ x 8’ primed panels and painting began. This stage of the project took several sessions during which the students and Mr. Tomassoni together painted the image onto the three panels. The students painted the main colors and Mr. Tomassoni blended the colors to give more depth. Fifteen youth worked on the project, which took three months to complete. The theme of the wall painting abstractly depicts a youth’s experience at the Cheltenham facility. All of the imagery and themes came from dialogue with the youth through sessions with Mr. Tomassoni.
The left panel depicts Discouragement as the three youth enter the facility upset and overwhelmed by the initial realization of their assignment to the Cheltenham Youth Facility. A dark world is behind them as they enter the facility. The colors are dark and represent the sadness and frustration of this initial experience.
The second panel represents Transition. Through this transition new possibilities emerge and hope becomes an option. The central figure represents a possibility of change. The figure has his hands raised in freedom having one arm in the dark past but the other arm stretched into a bright future. The colors are lighter and the figure is peering upward, looking toward a bright world.
The third panel represents Hope. The colors are bold and full of energy that depicts the youth’s transition back into a world of hope. The gates of the facility are open and the three figures exit with graduation caps. The overarching shape stretching from the left to the right of the composition represents both the wall that initially contains but now is a rainbow or bridge to new possibilities—
A World of Hope.
The mural hangs in the main lobby of the school on the campus of the Cheltenham Youth Facility.