Leaders of Today

Public Arts & Culture Program

Leaders of Today's Public Arts & Culture Program is a six month cohort project designed for Elyria and Lorain high school students to build leadership and creativity by transforming public spaces through the power art. 

Students submit mediums of art that express at least one of the below themes: 

Unity/Non-Violence, Community Pride, Positive Mental Health, Racial Equity  

Selected students are awarded a $250 scholarship for each winning art piece. Each submission is featured at the Elyria Arts Council in honor of Black History Month. Following the exhibit, selected students are assigned an artist-mentor who assist with redesigning students' original artwork into a 8ft x 4ft mobile art mural to be publicly displayed throughout the community.   

2021 Scholarship Recipients 

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"ALL OF US"

ABIGAIL CLAYTON

10TH GRADE

ELYRIA HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at the Lorain County Urban League 

200 Middle Ave Suite 200, Elyria, OH 44035

“All of Us” represents the world fitting together and needing one another to be complete like a puzzle. This puzzle painting unifies the growing possibilities for those with mental illness, inequity in the justice system, and the need to love one another, while shining a light on the black lives matter movement to find equity for ALL OF US. I want people to feel empowered, loved, and know they are not alone when facing these topics."

"HUMAN!"

AYDEN POL

11TH GRADE

ELYRIA HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Elyria City Hall  

131 Court Street, Elyria, OH 44035

"This piece of art shows an understanding of what racial equity looks like. On this mural, there are humans on it but with no faces. I made this mural to include people with no faces so that people looking at this piece can see themselves in the art no matter what color skin, gender, medical conditions, and religion you are."

"COVID-19 AWARENESS SIGN"

CHLOE TORRES

9TH GRADE

LORAIN HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Elyria City Hall  

351 W 6th St, Lorain, OH 44052

"I chose to display the effects of COVID-19 is to bring awareness to the reality of the coronavirus. There has been many deaths, school closings, and loss of jobs. There are many things that are not in our control, but we can still have a positive influence on others by doing our part to be safe."

"ELYRIA"

EMESE TOTH

12TH GRADE

ELYRIA HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Elyria City Hall  

131 Court Street, Elyria, OH 44035

"There's a certain rhythm and beat to living in this part of Lorain County - the bustle, birdsong, and river stream. It's a certain prosody I recognized as a unifying force. This piece is a simple expression of connecting through these local commonalities and proceeding forward after its realization."

"WHEN SURROUNDED BY DARKNESS REACH FOR THE LIGHT!"

JACOB ROBINSON

9TH GRADE

AMHERST STEELE HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Lorain City Hall  

200 W. Erie Avenue, Lorain, OH 44052

"This artwork represents hope, courage, mental, and emotional health. People must know that the battle of life isn’t over for them and that they still have a lot of life and excitement left to live and find. What my mural means to me is that even though it feels like your surrounded by darkness all day everyday, just keep reaching for the light that's ahead of you."

"THE HOOD"

JARAYIA WARNER 

11TH GRADE

LORAIN HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Lorain City Hall  

200 W. Erie Avenue, Lorain, OH 44052

"This mural portrays my experience of life growing up as a young African American female with very little, in a dangerous area. It shows that no matter how much I change or whatever my escape is, I can never run away from the image or the dangers that come along with my skin color. My art gives me hope that there is a chance out there for girls who look like me. It makes me believe that I'm more than what people portrayed me to be."

"RISE"

PRISCILLA YRAD

11TH GRADE

ELYRIA HIGH SCHOOL

Visit this mural at Elyria City Hall  

131 Court Street, Elyria, OH 44035

"RISE represents solidarity and empowerment between two marginalized communities rising up together. The artwork includes a Black Lives Matter fist overlapping the sun taken from the Filipino flag. Embedded in the fist is the Tagalog word 'bangon' meaning 'to rise up', empowering both cultures. While creating this piece the world has seen a rise in asian hate crimes and attacks, my message of solidarity expands the conversation about racial justice. This piece is an opportunity for me to rise up for myself and my community as an Asian American."

"206 BONES"

SYLVIA LYONS

12TH GRADE

ELYRIA HIGH SCHOOL

 

Visit this mural at the Lorain County Urban League 

200 Middle Ave Suite 200, Elyria, OH 44035

"This mural is a visual representation of a poem I wrote titled, 206 Bones. My mural encourages racial equality and non-violence. My piece features a skeleton of many different skin tones and a few lines from my poem.  I strive to make people hear my voice, but with my mural, it allows them to see it."

Photos taken by Victor Matos Photography