New YouthZone mural in Rifle shows danger of processed foods | PostIndependent.com

New YouthZone mural in Rifle shows danger of processed foods

Local student Emma Hostettler expalins what is depicted in this year's YouthZone mural at the Wednesday night unveiling.

YouthZone has unveiled its newest mural, as 20 local students worked side-by-side using art in Rifle to tell a story about the current state of the food industry.

The project is financed through a grant from the Embrey Family Foundation, which cites "arts for social change" as one of its passions.

Thanks to the grant, the project continued into its third summer.

The first mural, located near the 16th Street underpass in Rifle near the skate park, addresses technology and how it affects our lives, according to the YouthZone website.

The second mural can be found on the corner U.S. 6 & 24 and Railroad Avenue. It explores the issues of generational gaps and the negative attitudes that can exist between generations.

This year, the group of around 20 students from Rifle High School, Grand Valley High School and Glenwood Springs High School depicted the harmfulness of processed foods.

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"We are so grateful for the opportunities for our kids," said YouthZone Executive Director Lori Mueller.

Using grant money, the students were paid $10 an hour and together they worked on the project for several weeks.

"All of this is possible thanks to the Embrey Foundation," YouthZone's Marcey Hodshire explained at the unveiling last week.

She thanked Gayle Embrey and her willingness to give back to Rifle.

The artists responsible for the painting explained their work at the unveiling.

According to artist Jocelyn Abbott, the mural is a commentary on the damage caused by harmful chemicals in manufactured foods.

"The junk food is depicted as dancing and joyful in order to show the short-term satisfaction derived from these products, ignoring the long-term effects," she said.

"The giant broccoli tree depicts a girl swinging from a doughnut," artist Emma Hostettler added. "The girl represents how children take more satisfaction in the easily enjoyed doughnut, opposed to the tree."

It shows how people can be engulfed in the junk food culture, she said.