Sunnyside High students brightening up Downtown Fresno through art

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Teamwork, patience and a lot of paste, those ingredients needed for this group of Sunnyside students to transform Downtown Fresno.

"You've got to have paste behind it and on top of it and definitely tons on the edges," said instructor Tamela Ryatt.

It is a time-consuming process, but with the right amount of communication, the images of 25 students will brighten up the Fresno Unified Department of Prevention and Intervention (DPI).

"it is a team of four and they are having to strategize and collaborate and work through problems," said Ryatt.

Each image exuding positivity and telling a story, through the faces of teens who have been helped by the department.

"Empowered, bigger than life, important and knowing that they're making a difference when everyone looks at their pictures," she said.

The pictures were taken by digital photography and marketing students and were put up by them as well.

"We got them to do smiling faces, funny faces and we had them do something called 'I am messages', where they hold a piece of paper and say I am," said student Enrique Villanueva.

Sunnyside High has a similar mural on campus, the department saw it and asked if they could get one too.

"We had a blank slate, a group of students who wanted to do something creative and we had a group of student models that we worked with all year and it just all kind of came together," said Ambra Dorsey DPI Executive Director.

When it's done, about 1,000 square feet of photographs will cover the building. The end goal giving a portion of M street near Tuolumne a new outlook on life.

"They're not used to seeing positive things here, they're used to seeing the police kicking people out o the alley, used to people going to court, and people getting incarcerated, so this is really going to brighten up pour downtown area," said Dorsey.

The images are expected to stay up for about a year.
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