2012-02-10 / Community

Set Contest For Bayswater Park Mural

By Miriam Rosenberg


A mural will soon adorn the white wall outside Bayswater Park thanks to a contest sponsored by Lakia Echols, her MakeMyMotherProud organization and a $1,000 Love My Block grant from the Citizen’s Committee for New York City. Photo courtesy of Lakia Echols A mural will soon adorn the white wall outside Bayswater Park thanks to a contest sponsored by Lakia Echols, her MakeMyMotherProud organization and a $1,000 Love My Block grant from the Citizen’s Committee for New York City. Photo courtesy of Lakia Echols Her goal is to bring beauty to a park she grew up near. “I believe if we bring color to the park it will draw more attention,” said Lakia Echols. With that goal in mind, the 30-year Rockaway resident and former United States Army Reservist set the wheels in motion for a project that will change the white wall outside Bayswater Park into a mural that will represent the community.

Echols got the idea for the mural during last year’s Resource Day when she heard people call the outside of the park dull and boring.

Through Jill Weber, the Rockaway administrator for Parks, and Geoff Rawling, former president of the Rockaway Artists Alliance, she made contact with the Citizens Committee for New York City. She applied for their $1,000 Love Your Block grant and was approved.

“The I Love Your Block grant was awarded for beautifying Bayswater Park,” said Echols. “I wrote the grant for creating a mural on the white wall outside the park. I believe the mural will add more life and color to the park.”

Now comes the hard part, picking a design. For that Echols is holding a contest for the young people of the area to come up with something that will represent the community, the park or both.

“I chose a contest because I believe there’s a lot of kids out there that are artistic,” explained Echols. She added, “I want to boost their self-esteem and encourage them to do more things for the community.”

She said, “I’m working hard with art schools right now to try to get scholarships so whoever wins, at least they can go to art school.”

Echols’ vision for the Bayswater mural has it in two sections. One includes a memorial to locals who have passed away. But she said the rest of the mural is “completely up to the kids. It’s their vision.”

Drawings have already begun to come in.

“Most are between the ages of 10 and 15,” she further explained. “They’re good drawings.”

The contest, which goes through the end of this month, is run through her organization, MakeMyMotherProud, which she started in 2009.

Echols said the organization is meant to “provide guidance and motivation to the youths in Far Rockaway to achieve their goals.” It is also meant to bridge the gap between parents and their children.

Currently the mural is scheduled to be painted on June 23, with a raindate of June 30.

For more information on the contest contact Echols at 646-373-9683 or email makemymotherproudorg@yahoo.com. Those who want to submit artwork that represents their community and/or Bayswater Park can do it through email or leave the work at the Far Rockaway Library in a sealed envelope marked MMMP Art Contest. All submissions must include your name, address, phone number and email.

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