OSWEGO, NY – Not that long ago, Carol Peters, the store manager of the local JP Penney store walked across the parking to Subway to get something for lunch. On her way back, looking at the blacked-out windows of her store, she got something else – an idea.
The windows had been black-out years a go when the store went through a remodel and they created additional shelf space along the front wall.
“I was approached by the manager of JCPenney, who requested an on-going, year-round mural project on the blacked-out windows on the front of their store,” Kristen Slimmer, (city) Youth Activities Coordinator – for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, told Oswego County Today. “She (Peters) spent some time thinking about how those windows could be brightened up and this was what she landed on!”
“The windows made the store look drab,” Peters said. “Several people complained they didn’t know if we were open or not.”
“We were asked if we’d do a mural project,” Slimmer said. “Something new for each season.”
The store will designate the theme per season, she said, adding that this season will be ‘snowmen.’
Recently, despite the bitter windchill, Slimmer showed up at the store with a posse of volunteers in tow.
“I’m happy the weather cooperated enough for us to paint,” Slimmer said. “I was told that a lake effect snowstorm was moving in for the weekend. We can paint through some flurries for sure; probably not a blizzard!”
Slimmer put out the painting opportunity to the older youth groups, city and county Youth Court as well as Leadership Oswego County Youth class.
“This is a new project I have taken on in my position as the youth activities coordinator,” she explained. “I asked the kids to send me a drawing or at least their idea of what they are going to be painting.”
Some of the kids are involved in the summer time mural program along the city’s west riverwalk area as well.
The store provided a place to warm up as well as snacks and hot cocoa for the painters.
“The kids all really enjoyed themselves, despite the cold. They seemed pretty proud to have their creations on display. They also really enjoyed the VIP treatment with access to the JCP staff break room for cookies and hot chocolate!” Slimmer said. “They are all looking forward to the next round of murals.”
The paint was provided through the Youth Bureau this time around so they could get this new project launched as soon as possible.
However, moving forward, JCP will have funds to purchase the paint supplies after the manager explored a funding option for this project, Slimmer said.
For more information about Youth Bureau projects, call (315) 349-3575 or email [email protected]