Encounter Project

Over the course of 2020, ATAC embarked on a new project, the Encounter Project, a public art piece for downtown Helena. The group painted the crosswalks on the intersection of N Last Chance Gulch and E Lawrence St. With resident artist, Janaina Vieira-marques, a teacher, artist, and expert in public art, guiding them, ATAC came up with the idea to paint sidewalks and how to execute their massive undertaking.

The goal of ATAC’s Encounter project is to beautify Helena’s downtown, enhance citizenship through youth participation, and highlight the importance of the arts in the community. Most importantly, it gave the participating teens a voice and a platform to express themselves and step into a place of leadership in our community. With the Encounter Project, ATAC was able to change the way teens are seen in the public eye. There are a lot of negative stereotypes surrounding teens and ATAC sought to disprove these perceptions. With this in mind, the group brainstormed ideas for art in the community. The ideas ATAC decided on relate to state symbols, nature, and addressing teen problems or/and stereotypes.

Six teenagers with their hands in the shape of guns, shooting hundreds of Bitterroot flowers.

Four teenagers sprouting bird wings while jumping and celebrating life.

Six teenagers helping one another climb a mountain by reaching out their hands and growing together like branches of a tree.Teenagers reading books while roots sprout from their legs and hundreds of Mourning Cloak Butterflies surround their heads

The project found community support, both monetary and with help painting as well as the donation of needed supplies and teenage fuels – a.k.a. food. Members of ATAC reached out local business for project support. The group also utilized their experience with a screen printing business to create fundraiser t-shirts for the project.

The project t-shirt design.

Janaina Vieira-marques, the resident artist that has helped ATAC engineer their public art project.

To get this project together ATAC had to do a lot of planning.

Thank you to all our sponsors!

  • Bert & Ernie’s
  • Bill and Kathy Redd
  • Brian and Kristan Robinson
  • Funky Trunk
  • Holter Docents
  • Jim and Joanna Lund
  • Judy Carrigan
  • Jules Schoebel
  • Last Chance Tours
  • MT Book Co.
  • Murry’s
  • Painted Pot
  • Park Avenue
  • Peggy Hollow-Phelps
  • Re Store
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Spruce Finer Consigner
  • Ten Mile Brewery
  • Van’s
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