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Bright and beautiful mural was a team effort

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By Fiona Reid
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Bright and beautiful mural was a team effort

A NEW mural is brightening up The Willows Children Young People and Family Centre in Dumfries.

The artwork was coordinated by DG Creative Wellbeing, a ground-breaking project delivered by regional arts organisation OutPost Arts that enhances people’s wellbeing, communities, and healthcare environments through artistic and cultural opportunities, events, and activities.

They worked in partnership with NHS staff at the Willows, to facilitate the public art installation that will be on permanent display in the foyer of the building.

Lead artist Katie Anderson was commissioned to co-design the installation by engaging and collaborating with participants of an art journal project and taking on board the ideas of staff and young people.

She said: “The mural project was designed and developed to empower service users to give them a sense of ‘ownership’ and encourage all those who took part to increase their own personal ambitions and creative practices by thinking big and bold.

“We hope the mural provides something special to the space and proves to be a real talking point for staff, service users and visitors.”

Kayla Milligan, 16, took part and said: “This opportunity was presented to me, because art is something I am passionate about, and it gave me the chance to meet new like-minded people and allowed me to learn more skills which will help me in the future.

“The mural really brightens up the area and makes this feel really welcoming. I think this is a great addition.”

And Lucy Bell, from DG Creative Wellbeing, added: “The mural project has been a real journey of teamwork and creativity. Every participant brought their own special touch, adding layers of uniqueness to our collective vision.

“Working together, we crafted a design that combines everyone’s contributions into a beautiful and impactful piece of art. It’s something truly special that brings life to The Willows and reflects the magic of our collaboration. It really is what creative wellbeing is all about.”

Meanwhile, regional public health director Valerie White attended the unveiling and said: “There is evidence of the impact the arts can have on improving health and wellbeing. This project is a practical demonstration of how this can be achieved.

“It is really important that we recognise the value of the arts in keeping us well.”

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