It's been five months since Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn was elected in October 2021.
Five quick months as she's been hard at work with council making our community an even better place, but it's also five long months of looking at bare walls in her office.
"So obviously when we started my office was repainted...and I have got this massive blank wall and I'm really bad at picking art. I see lots of things that I like, but I have to percolate, sit. Anyway, it's been five months, just about six months ago and it's still very blank."
To get rid of her "bland wall" issue she came up with an idea that gives residents under the age of 18 an opportunity to have their work hung in her office.
"So I decided that I wanted to create it as a theme wall and I'll probably for the next couple years work around the values of our community and our organization. So I've started this contest as I'm looking for kids to create, what they feel exemplifies or amplifies kindness. So that's the first value that I'm going to work with."
Mayor Thorn is looking for about ten pieces that reflect kindness to make the final cut but mentioned that she'd love to fit as much art as possible on the wall.
When asked "why art from the youth?", she said it's important to recognize their outlook, especially when it comes to being kind.
"It's a perspective that I like to see, and I probably resonate with youth because they haven't got that lived experience that they've become sometimes jaded as we become as adults and so they see solutions, right? They see opportunities. They tend to come at it from a perspective of 'well yeah, why can't we do that?' They see everything as an opportunity to be able to do so and that for me resonates with who I am."
And with a laugh, she adds, "And I remember when my daughter was growing up I always liked fridge art. Who has not had fridge art, right?"
Anyone under the age of 18 can submit their artwork to the Town Hall or front desk at the Rec Centre with the applicant's name, age, and contact phone number on the back.
The deadline is March 31st!
For the full interview, listen here: