The Teen Project, a female-focused nonprofit that provides counseling and life-skills education to troubled teens, announced today the unveiling ceremony of its exterior mural. The mural was commissioned by famed Venice artist Patrick Marston and his husband Michael Brunt, who are best known for their #VenicePride Rainbow Lifeguard Tower. The unveiling ceremony will take place at The Teen Project building on March 17th.
An homage to the women who seek a new beginning at The Teen Project, the mural features a garden with a bridge and colorful large tree on a serene landscape. Prior to the creation of the mural, The Teen Project building was stark white with a cobalt blue awning. Marston wanted to create a sense of community and hope with his larger than life artwork.
“It’s such an honor to be part of creating this mural for The Teen Project. While I am an artist first and foremost, this project is about more than paint brushes and color palettes,” says Marston. “With the recent cultural shift heightening the importance of women’s issues, I want these young women to know they have a voice and The Teen Project is a place where they can come to be heard,” says Marston.
In addition to the building’s exterior, Marston and Brunt will be painting two interior hallways where the women reside and recover. The interior mural will mirror that of the exterior with landscapes and bright colors. Residents, staff and community volunteers will assist in the artistic process, giving them a sense of inclusion and pride for the project.
The Teen Project could not have been possible without the generous contributions of husband and wife team Paul and Amy Blavin. A former financier, Mr. Blavin and his wife have dedicated their lives and financial resources to helping struggling youth throughout southern California. Having founded For Good, Blavin Scholarship Program and The Teen Project, the Blavins personally sought out Marston to create the mural for The Teen Project.
“The Teen Project is an oasis of love, faith, hope and empowerment for young women battling substance addiction. Michael and Patrick have now gracefully anointed the facade of The Teen Project with the beauty that lives within each of the women we gratefully serve. It powerfully sings ‘welcome to beauty, freedom and grace’,” said Blavin.
Marston has honed his craft as a professional painter since 1998. The partners’ gallery, Marston and Brunt Art Studio in Venice has become a place where locals and art lovers alike come to see and purchase Marston’s signature goldfish paintings. Marston images can also be found on apparel sold exclusively on his website.
Founded in 2007, The Teen Project has rehabilitated hundreds women and teens throughout Los Angeles. The brainchild of Lauri Burns, The Teen Project was founded after Burns successfully kicked a decade-long drug addiction. Having spent time in rehab and women’s homes, Burns parlayed her knack for numbers into a successful career at Northrop Grumman. She decided to dedicate her life to helping women like herself find their way, eventually founding The Teen Project.
“The artwork is absolutely transformational. It creates peace and tranquility for the clients we serve and a feeling of safety for all who visit. You feel like you’ve walked into a tropical paradise,” said Burns.