AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Through the Blank Spaces Murals (BSM) organization, over June 12 and 13 a large-scale mural was installed by community volunteers and Panhandle Community Services recipients.
High school and college students interning through the Blank Spaces program worked to set up the mural, explained the organization, and led to the community event in which all were invited to help with the artwork. The mural was estimated to be around 177’ in length and 8’ in height.
Panhandle Community Services, as described by Blank Spaces, serves 26 Texas counties with over 750 volunteers, aiming to help with housing and utility assistance, supporting veterans with the Restoring America’s Heroes project, managing a rural county transit system, and reporting data to Congress for influencing legislation in the Panhandle.
“What PCS does for our community by providing services and assistance to help struggling individuals and families bridge the gap from poverty to self-reliance and a better quality of life is vital to the High Plains. We live in a region that cares about its people and pairing with this important organization to help tell their story with paint and brushes in the hands of those both directly and indirectly affected is remarkable.” said BSM Executive Director Shawn Kennedy, “When interns are given the opportunity to lead our community in change, the rest of their lives and actions are filtered through these experiences. Blank Spaces more than putting paint on a wall, we are about transforming the lives of young people, our city and connecting people with the human experience through Art and social practice.”
Blank Spaces “founding female” and returning intern for the summer, Karyme Zuniga, has received past services from PCS. She remarked, “Growing up my family had a lot of financial difficulties and Panhandle Community Services was able to provide aid through their utility assistance program. They really helped us out in a time of need; being able to work on the mural and continue to beautify their building highlights how everything comes full circle. It makes me happy to know I’m doing something for an organization special to me that helps and serves our community.”
BSM Project Manager Shanda O’Neill added, “We have learned that the best way to connect with our community is by reaching out and starting a conversation. Bringing the public out to participate in service projects gives us the opportunity to learn more about where people come from, what services our community needs and where we can jump in and help.”