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Mural blooms at Cloquet Public Library

Twenty-three children colored and painted puzzle pieces with local artist Becky Foster to create the mural.

Children color in puzzle pieces
Penelope Hietala and Jaiden Foster color in their puzzle pieces during the Cloquet Public Library's BLOOM! event on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Contributed / Keiko Satomi
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CLOQUET — Armed with markers, crayons, tempera paint sticks and colored pencils, 23 children set to work Monday, March 28, to fill in puzzle pieces that fit together to create a mural at the Cloquet Public Library.

Local artist Becky Foster designed the mural and led the session, held on the first day of the Cloquet School District's spring break.

Finished BLOOM! mural
The finished BLOOM! mural created by children during an arts and crafts session at the Cloquet Public Library on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Contributed / Becky Foster

"I came up with this idea of something they could do together instead of just another craft project to take home. ... I did it as a puzzle so the kids could see how they’re each a piece of the community, just like they’re making a piece of the puzzle and how it all fits together to make something better and bigger," she said.

Children were asked to color one of 24 puzzle pieces. When put together, the puzzle formed a 3-foot by 4-foot mural. The finished product features the word "Bloom" in the middle, various types of flowers and inspirational phrases.

Foster came up with the design fairly quickly and sketched it out over the course of one evening.

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Besides flexing their creative muscles, the children got to think about themselves as members of the Cloquet community.

Mother helping her son find the place for his finished puzzle piece
Ashton Hietala helps her son, Parker, find a place for his finished puzzle piece at the Cloquet Public Library on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Contributed / Keiko Satomi

"We talked about how the way (the kids) act in the community, the way that they bloom, helps them to be the best versions of themselves," Foster said.

The mural was slated to be hung in the children's area of the library on Wednesday, March 30, said librarian Keiko Satomi, in an email to the Pine Journal.

The experience was fun for Foster, who has brought her four children to the Cloquet library all their lives.

"It was neat to be able to contribute something that’s part of (the library)," she said.

Becky Foster walks among the children as they color puzzle pieces for the mural
Becky Foster (center) checks on children as they color puzzle pieces for the BLOOM! mural at the Cloquet Public Library on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Contributed / Keiko Satomi

Related Topics: CLOQUETART
Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
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