HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County teenagers will now have the chance to learn new art skills while giving back to their community, thanks to a new partnership between Henrico County Mental Health and Developmental Services, The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and the James River Juvenile Detention Center.

Henrico officials recently began reviewing policies that would help local young people deal with crises like violence and mental health. During this process, Cari Tretina, Chief of Staff to the Henrico County Manager, realized there were not many chances for vulnerable teens to make a difference in their local community.

After discussions with the Cultural Arts Center, Tretina decided to start some community art projects to that would enable Henrico youth to express themselves while giving back.

As part of one of those projects, some local teenagers had the chance to learn different art techniques alongside local artist Tammy Hinkle while they painted a colorful mural at a Henrico County government building. The mural spells out “HENRICO” and features depictions of some iconic Henrico places, from local libraries and soccer fields to destinations like Short Pump.

Henrico teenagers had the chance to learn different art techniques alongside local artist Tammy Hinkle while they painted a colorful mural at a Henrico County government building. (Credit: Henrico County Government)

“Having the young people involved just made it amazing,” Hinkle said. “I just love involving the youth in a project like this because it makes a difference in their life and gives them a sense of accomplishment.”

The latest art project and the budding artist who made it happen have already made an impact on those that will see the new mural every day.

“When I look at the mural it’s not just a piece of artwork,” Tretina said. “They’ve left an impression on my heart not just on my wall.”