#TBT Bowsher Teens Enliven Walls at La Posada

Teens from Bowsher High School joined in on an art project at the La Posada Family Emergency Shelter in 2000. Their artistic skills were soon put to work as they transformed the basement of the shelter into a master piece. Read more about the teens’ thoughts about the project and the which cool characters they drew on the walls for the kids!

Toledo Blade
Janet Romaker
Nov. 30, 2000

Don’t get paint on the new carpet, warned Patty Kehoe.

Brushes in hand, the artists glanced down at the carpet and promised not to make a mess. Then they quickly returned to their work, creating colorful characters on a wall in the former dank, dark basement of the La Posada homeless shelter.

The transformation of the basement has been an ongoing project involving South Toledo students and others in the community. [singlepic id=551 w=320 h=240 float=right]

New washers and dryers have been installed; decorative lattice work has been put into place; walls have been painted, and carpet and furniture have been added.

“It’s been a nice little project,” Mitch Berlin, assistant principal of student affairs at Bowsher High School, said. The project, he pointed out, has not cost the shelter “1 cent” because people have donated equipment, supplies, and other items.

Most recently, the Bowsher High School art club members have donated their time and talent to the basement project. Students penciled in several characters, including Powerpuff Girl and Pokemon creatures, on a long white wall. The young artist returned a few days later to add paint to bring the characters to life.

Several students last week said that they enjoyed the chance to be creative, and welcomed the chance to help make a difference in the lives of others.

“I like to do things for other people,” said Crystal Tursich, a senior at Bowsher, who was pointing a green lollipop for one of the characters on the wall.

Nearby, Adrienne Klein, who said she enjoys art and painting, was creating a “real hip” curly haired characted with a tie-dyed T-shirt and blue jeans. “I came here to paint because it’s fun to be able to say, “Hey I left my mark there. It’s fun to help with community-service projects.”

Mrs. Kehoe, art teacher and art club adviser, directed the students as they painted, telling them to add socks on a little girl character, peach color on the face of another girl, and perhaps a bow in the hair of another. Also involved in the project is Diane Klein, an art teacher and club adviser.

At the far end of the wall, Torren Stanley (his twin brother Tyler sketched some the characters) was carefully dabbing paint on the bright yellow Pickachu, a Pokemon character. “This gives me something to do after school.” Torren said, adding that this also gives him a chance “to do something for people that I do not usually see after school. It’s been fun.”

La Posada takes in about 250 people a year, mostly families. The shelter is operated by the Diocese of Toledo Catholic Charities.

Bob Krompak, director of housing and employment services for Catholic Charities, praised the Bowsher students for their role in improving the basement of the shelter.

“It’s just tremendous,” he said.

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