Thirty-three teens, representing seven high schools, worked with MAKE owner and artist Kijsa Housman and Paducah Bank Marketing Director Susan Guess over several months to design and paint the mural.
Each student created an icon from a memory about giving or receiving an act of kindness. Each icon is featured on the mural and was painted by the student who designed it.
The mural is a second-generation kindness gift. The first mural was created three years ago by the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation founders Susan and Morgan Guess, in partnership with Housman.
The trio say they are excited to see the kindness movement grow. Several elements of the original mural remain in tact, inlacing the butterfly. Morgan, a sophomore at McCracken County High School, is part of this mural as one of the Paducah Bank Teen Ambassadors.
"What makes this project so special is that it is a joint project between students from five counties, an artist, and a bank," said Morgan. "This mural is about the best of all of us and we hope it inspires every citizen to focus on creating kinder schools and communities."
Guess says the bank is grateful to Housman for donating her time, talent, and building to such an important message.
“This project is the very epitome of what creativity can foster among people who often think they have none,” adds Housman. “Everyone is an artist with a unique gift. That expression can be exhibited in so many ways. One of the ways we can show our inner spirit is through acts of kindness and an attitude of compassion. I was thrilled when Paducah Bank asked MAKE to partner with them on this project. I have great admiration for this local bank. They have been showing community commitment for more than 70 years. They not only set a wonderful example of kindness, they are also lifting up voice of a new generation.”
"Kijsa was able to merge the ideas of 33 students in an art piece that celebrates the best of each of them," said Susan Guess. "Isn't that what kindness is all about? Our hope is this mural can be a centerpiece of conversation that inspires each of us to lift up the uniqueness and beauty of every person we encounter."
The ribbon cutting for the mural is set for November 13 at 3 PM. “I would like to encourage everyone to join us at this event,” adds Morgan Guess. “If you believe in kindness, like we do, and if you want to be part of something bigger than yourself that inspires us all to create a kinder world, please join us. We want to see students and adults from all around our region come and show their support for our message that kindness matters.”