The City of Sierra Vista is inspiring community members to help beautify the city with murals, through its Neighborhood Partnership Initiative Grant program. A Cochise College art class used the grant money they received to paint a mural at the Oscar Yrun Community Center.

The mural wraps around the city’s art studio and was painted by 10 Cochise College students. They decided they wanted to showcase the San Pedro River and the wildlife that’s found in Cochise County.

On Tuesday, the class unveiled their project to the community, including city and college leaders.

“Its incredible, it really is,” said Kristy Hom, one of the students involved in the project.

She and her classmates were chosen for the murals class by Instructor of Art at Cochise College, JenMarie Zeleznak.

“To see it in black and white was incredible, but now to actually see it in color painted is just amazing,” Hom said. “It’s a dream.

Zeleznak reached out to the city’s Library, Recreation, & Cultural

Services Manager, Emily Duchon, to see if there was a space for the students to paint. She suggested the walls outside of the citys public art studio, off Tacoma Street.

I just think it’s so much fun,” Duchon said. “This is an old building. It gives it new life and it serves, I think, as an inspiration to the artists that are coming to our studio.

She told the students she wanted to showcase the flora and fauna that live in the area.

Our imaginations took off after that,” Hom said. “We think it represents the San Pedro River and how it supplies water to all our riparian areas around here.”

The class spent the first half of the 16-week semester researching murals in Arizona and designing the mural they wanted to paint. Zeleznak says the students had to work together and combine ideas to make the piece.

The class received just under $2,500, through the citys Neighborhood Partnership Initiative Grant program to complete mural. The program provides funding for projects, like the mural pained by the students, in an effort to beautify the city.

There’s the chance to like, beautify our city here if people just step in and put proposals forward.” Zeleznak said. “I hope that this mural was like an example of that, and inspire others to come forward.

The students and teacher hope this mural inspires the community to pursue art and know they’ve made an impact on the city with their art.

I used to bring my kids here when they were little for classes and different kinds of meetings and, and I didn’t think much about it,” Hom said. “(I) loved that it was a community center, but to be able to actually help give it a face-lift is just really awesome.

Zeleznak hopes her next spring class can also paint a mural in town, because she says partnership and getting students out of the classroom provides them with a “real-world experience.”

An experience Hom says she will always remember.

“I was telling JenMarie, it’s so much more than a class,” she said. “It was just an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”