UPBEAT MURAL GRACES SUSSEX COUNTY FAMILY COURT COURTROOM
|Artist John Donato helping students from various schools on
the Youth Advisory Council to paint the mural.
Thanks to the support of the Rehoboth Art League (RAL) and the vision
of 18 past and present foster care children of the Youth Advisory
Council (YAC), Judge Peter B. Jones’s Sussex County Family
Court courtroom now showcases a bright, 25‐foot‐wide mural depicting
foster care children’s hopes and challenges as they travel
along life’s path. A colorful, whimsical coastal landscape teeming
with fish and birds serves as a backdrop to a road leading to an island
with gently swaying palm trees. Traveling on, above and alongside
the road, is a medley of animals and people. They are traveling
collectively in a bus or individually on a skateboard; they are seated
in a jeep or astride a motorcycle; they are floating in a hot air balloon
or cutting through the waves and the air in speedboats or planes.
Peppered along the way are positive, upbeat signs, billboards, and
messages such as “Keep going forward,” “Don’t let your past dictate
your future,” and “No turning back.” A bandaged, bent tree
sports a sign that says “torn, but not broken.” The final destination is
a lighthouse with an all‐seeing eye marked “Hope.”
|Honorable Peter Jones (center) from the Family Court, artist John
Donato, and the owner of the Rehoboth Art League with the Youth
Advisory Council in front of the finished mural.
The mural is the product of a joint collaboration between Family
Court, RAL, and YAC. Judge Jones approached RAL about the
the possibility of doing a project with YAC as part of RAL’s community
outreach program. RAL immediately endorsed the idea
and a meeting was set up between RAL, YAC, and the Court.
The children were excited at the prospect of a mural and, with
the assistance of a local mural artist, John Donato, work quickly
got underway in studio space donated by RAL. The project was
funded by RAL and completed in five days. Now, children entering
the courtroom can view this wonderful addition and
learn from their peers, who traveled on the same road, that
hope is what they saw at the end of the journey.
The official unveiling of the mural took place on April 30, 2012,
just in time for the month of May. May is Foster Care Month.
For further information contact Guy.Sapp@state.de.us.