Walking into the gym at the Rome-Floyd YMCA Tuesday afternoon, you’re almost immediately hit with the smell of fresh paint and upbeat music.
Looking around, you can see volunteers of all ages filling in a pre-drawn mural, which includes motivational phrases and words, such as “Teamwork” and “Be kind.”
The volunteer project is part of the Rome Mural CoLab’s latest project in conjunction with the YMCA and Harbin Clinic.
Mural CoLab founders Xaivier Ringer and Ellie Borromeo wanted to create a mural that includes entries from students all around Rome and Floyd County, representing different interpretations of community, health, love and family.
“We wanted to project the imagery around health, community, inclusion, youth and joy so the project includes those themes,” Ringer said. “It’s our effort in partnership with Harbin and the Y to put forth community excitement and engagement through mural art in the gym.”
“We started the design process at the end of May and started the paint process this month,” Borromeo said.
They estimate that they should be finished up by mid-August.
YMCA Director Scott McCreless said he’s seeing people who have a long history with the YMCA come out and volunteer.
“I think it’s a great way to partner with the Rome Mural club and Harbin and put this together and see it come to life,” McCreless said.
Volunteer Alonna Penn said she found out about the project through her mother, who works at Harbin. Alonna said she loves to paint and actually has lots of canvases sitting around her house. However, this is her first time painting a mural.
Karis Love came with her family, who recently moved to Rome. The 10-year-old said they wanted to do something to be a part of the community and get to know people. She said her favorite part of the mural so far is the “Better Together” section.
You can sign up to volunteer for an upcoming paint day on the YMCA’s home page. The YMCA is located at 810 E. Second Ave.