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Teens make their mark on new teen center

Mural designed, built with help from local teens

When the Mountain View teen center opens later this year it will be adorned with a tile mosaic mural that teens helped design and build, titled "winds of progress."

The mural was under construction last week, a group of teens gluing down colorful pieces of broken tile over a marked, swirling layout.

"I like how the community is involved in the creation of the work, rather than a cool piece of art showing up on the side of the building one day," said Mountain View High School student Matt Maciag, a third-year member of the city's Youth Advisory Committee, which had a large hand in the mural.

Artist Leslie Scott had lead a group of middle- and high school-aged youth through the process of creating a vision for the mural, which includes the image of a tree.

"They were very adamant about wanting a tree to represent the support they've received at the teen center," Scott said. "The experience of participating in the teen center and what they will take out into the world informs everything written into this mural."

"When we brainstormed, I asked them what was important to them what would they want to tell their community," Scott said.

The group was asked to finish sentences starting with "we are" and "we can" which lead to words and phrases on the mural such as "diverse" and "we are stronger than you think," "we are worthy" and "we can do anything."

After two days of tile-gluing, on Friday there was nothing left to add but grout between the tiles. Scott said the mural would be finished the following Wednesday. The new teen center at 253 Escuela Ave. will take a bit longer before it's completed, possibly by late November.

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