Mural Contest


Chloe Sun

As the Carmel Clay Public Library’s (CCPL) main branch on Main Street and Fourth Avenue undergoes extensive renovations, part of their new facilities will include an extended “Teen Space.” Set to reopen in 2022, the library has released an opportunity for young artists to contribute to the library’s transformation: a call for mural submissions by high school students to fill the Teen Space’s 115-foot feature wall, rewarding the winner a stipend of $2,000 and an opportunity to work with the renovation’s architects if selected.

News of the opportunity was shared with AP Studio Art students at the beginning of the year, and the opportunity proved exciting to many students. 

AP Studio Art student and senior Marianne Cadio said, “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for young art students to be able to put their work out into the community while also making some money to help pay for college at the same time.” 

Emily Garnes, a senior and AP Studio Art student as well, agreed. She said, “I think it would be so cool to have my art in a public space—it’s just a wonderful opportunity and I’m excited for whoever (wins) it.”

Senior and Drawing 3-4 art aide Caroline Hammonds, who won an opportunity to design the City of Carmel’s recently revealed Monon Trail tunnel mural earlier this year, said her experiences winning that mural competition and working with professionals to complete the project gave her insight when submitting to the library’s competition. “(The tunnel mural) definitely changed my life and it’s very exciting to know that it’ll be there a long time (for) people (to) enjoy. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator through that experience, which I later used for the library (competition).”

Given an open-ended prompt and an encouragement for diverse submissions, students had varying inspirations for their submissions. “The majority of my art is animals and plants (and) that’s what I’m inspired by,” said Garnes. 

Meanwhile, Hammonds said, “I tried to use really vibrant colors and florals and a more funky version of nature, so something that still incorporates Indiana wildlife but also is versatile and different.”

“I love seeing murals in downtown areas, and I love seeing art in public spaces because it makes the world a brighter, happier place,” Garnes said. “I’d love to see more opportunities like this for young people to get more into art. It’s a very nice thing to see.”

Hammonds said, “Honestly, I encourage any young artist to get as involved as much as possible and seek out those kinds of opportunities because it could really start out a career for you.”