The YMCA of Burbank has received a youthful facelift on the side of their building located on Magnolia Boulevard and 3rd Street.
Nickelodeon, as part of a philanthropy project their interns undertake every semester, has provided the Burbank YMCA with a colorful and large mural that decorates the west side of their building facing the parking lot.
Typically, the murals are designed for schools. This time around, however, the interns felt the Burbank YMCA served as the perfect platform for their altruistic work.
“We wanted to branch out and paint one for an organization that reached a broader audience, which is why we went with the Burbank YMCA”, said Lindsay Anderson, Community Efforts intern. “The Y caters to just about everyone and we were so excited to be able to create something for all of their patrons to see and enjoy whenever they stop by.”
“We started by brainstorming various different ideas through rough sketches”, said Nicole Lozano, Production Intern and one of the artistic leads on the project. “Any of the interns willing to offer up their artistic talents to draw a concept for the mural were allowed to submit their ideas to our awesome logistic lead and showrunner for this entire project, Lindsay Anderson. Lindsay then sent our sketches over to, Mary Cutone, President/CEO of the Burbank YMCA”.
“[Mary] wanted it to reflect the YMCA’s core values – youth development, healthy living, and social responsibly, while simultaneously encompassing the realness of the people who come to the YMCA”, said Anderson.
The primary vision was planted in inclusiveness and aimed to highlight the YMCA’s reaching impact on the community.
“I really wanted to visually capture Mary’s “For All” message, so I started sketching away all sorts of different people from all walks of life to form a community of people in the design. After doing a few touch ups according to Mary’s specifications, my concept design was chosen for the final piece to be painted on the YMCA’s wall”, said Lozano, who described the collaborating process as a “total blast” with her Nickelodeon companions (also known as “NICKterns” among each other).
After the YMCA considered the variety of work submitted, the collaboration resulted in what is now the finished project – which took about a week to complete. The mural itself depicts a wide range of community members of diverse backgrounds taking part in a variety of activities in front of a colorful landscape.
Aside from some extreme heat, not many challenges presented themselves. From beginning to end, the entire process played out close to three months.
While the majority of the design was handled by a few gifted interns, all 35 of them lent their talents and skill sets to complete the project.
Lozano continues, “The best part of this whole experience was getting to tackle this mural with my fellow interns because not only are they such a fun and energetic bunch, but most of them aren’t actually artists at all! So, getting to see them jump in, take the creative reins, and get messy with paint was such a fun learning experience”.
“The goal was to encompass the ‘For All’ mentality of the YMCA, so we really wanted to create something that celebrated diversity”, said Anderson. “We wanted every person who saw the mural to feel as if they were represented in some way”.
“I wanted to celebrate life and the variety of different people in the world, so I tried to give each person I drew their own, unique personalities that would shine through in their own way”, said Lozano.
What was once an assuming wall in downtown Burbank is now the home of a promising view of our community’s future and a fun reminder of the joys of collaboration with friends.
Essentially, it represents the tenets of the YMCA.