Youth artists selected to help with Gilbert Sister Cities’ Friendship Garden mural artwork

Brigette Peterson, Linnae Dixon, Greg Tilque, Priya Chopra, Kathy Tilque
Young artists Linnae Dixon and Priya Chopra accept a symbolic check as winners of a Gilbert Sister Cities mural contest. From left are Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, Dixon, Gilbert Sister Cities President Greg Tilque, Chopra and Gilbert Town Council Member Kathy Tilque. (Courtesy Gilbert Sister Cities)

Young artists Linnae Dixon and Priya Chopra accept a symbolic check as winners of a Gilbert Sister Cities mural contest. From left are Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, Dixon, Gilbert Sister Cities President Greg Tilque, Chopra and Gilbert Town Council Member Kathy Tilque. (Courtesy Gilbert Sister Cities)

Gilbert Sister Cities has chosen two local young artists to assist a garden committee in determining the final mural artwork to be displayed at the Friendship Garden under construction at Gilbert Regional Park.

Linnae Dixon and Priya Chopra’s renderings were chosen as they both brought different aspects and mediums into play as they celebrated the Sister Cities relationships among Gilbert; Leshan, China; and Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, according to a release from Gilbert Sister Cities.

Mayor Brigette Peterson, Council Member Kathy Tilque and Gilbert Sister Cities President Greg Tilque presented Chopra and Dixon a prize of $250 each at the Dec. 14 Town Council meeting. In addition to this prize, students will be invited to learn from a professional muralist as another opportunity to expand their own portfolios. The GSC committee is hoping to name the muralist for the 50-foot wall at the garden within the next month, according to the release.

The mural will adorn the Friendship Garden under development in collaboration with the town of Gilbert at the new Gilbert Regional Park near Higley Road and Queen Creek Road. The garden will be located on the south side of the pavilion and amphitheater and is slated for a grand opening in the spring.

Greg Tilque said turning the initial conceptual drawings into the construction phase of the project has begun and that materials will be ordered shortly.


Additionally, a major gifts campaign that launched at the end of the summer has raised more than $160,000 in support.

“Our corporate, institutional and private donor community have been hungry for such a positive and uplifting message that this Friendship Garden represents,” Tilque said.

A community phase has begun with supporters invited to purchase a brick to be placed at the garden or make a general donation. Information is available at www.gilbertsistercities.org on the website.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.