AUSTIN — AUSTIN -- A retaining wall in East Austin is now a work of art thanks to some creative teens.
The 240-foot-wide mural called "Together We Are" is located on the side of Lott Pocket Park near downtown Austin.
Teenagers with youth development nonprofit Creative Action's Color Squad, a visual arts program, and GirlForward, a nonprofit that helps young refugees in Austin, worked on the mural for two months.
It includes a rainbow flag, a Black Lives Matter sign, a person in a wheelchair, and a diverse group of people. It's supposed to represent Austin's inclusivity.
"Our young people wanted to create a statement that said Austin is not passively inclusive. It's not gloss-surface, just-consumer inclusive. It's real-deal inclusive. This is about solidarity with many different communities," Creative Action Senior Director of Community Programs Alberto Mejia said.
Rachael Osgood, a senior at Anderson High School, has been a member of Color Squad for four years. She helped paint multiple sections of the mural.
"Ultimately, we wanted this mural to be about community," she said. "We wanted it to be about 'Welcome to Austin. Together, we are Austin.' And that does not apply to one specific group. That applies to everyone."
Osgood said it's important for teens to express themselves in today's climate.
"Art to me is power," she said. "It gives people the ability to speak their own truths and to kind of bring together this collective community identity, and that is incredibly vital in the time, the age that we are in right now."
Mejia hopes the mural invokes beauty and inclusion.