When Jacklyn Laflamme and her recruits are finished on Saturday, Fort Lauderdale's Osswald Park should be covered in peace signs.
The 31-acre park is the canvas for Laflamme's Paint the Park project, in which local residents will take paintbrushes to the walls of Osswald's Recreation Center and racquetball court. The community art theme, naturally, is nonviolence.
"The fact that we get the community to do murals instead of a few people is it helps them take pride in it," says Laflamme, of Hallandale Beach, who received a grant from the Broward County Cultural Division, and sponsorships from 211 Broward, to beautify the park. "We've got this whole campaign to stomp out violence and bullying, and peace signs reinforce the message while making the park look colorful."
Laflamme, who in March also paired up with locals to adorn a wedge of 13th Street in northeast Fort Lauderdale with a city-themed mural, says the afternoon should be painless for less-artistic painters.
"I've already laid out the mural paint-by-numbers-style and got the backgrounds done, so people who've never painted before don't have to feel intimidated," Laflamme says.
About 20 gallons of paint, donated by Home Depot, will be used to finish the murals. The event will also include resource tents for residents, the Cuzn Tim's Seafood Shack food truck and live music from country singer Maggie Baugh, Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Championship Band trumpeter Eric German Jr. and others.
Paint the Park will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Osswald Park, 2220 NW 21st Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-390-0492 or go to 211-Broward.org.