Fulton High School students behind artwork promoting city’s free KAT student program
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At 17-years-old, Iyana Jones has already found her safe place.
“Art has really been my life,” said Jones. “I can draw whatever I want and I can express myself.”
Art is an outlet she said she doesn’t take for granted.
“Where I’m from, being able to afford stuff that’s kind of what holds people back from big opportunities,” Jones said.
Eyes glued to her digital canvas, the Fulton High School senior is always looking for opportunities to create. This time, opportunity found her.
“You think, well I’m good. But then when somebody else, higher up, says you’re good and wants your work showcased around all of Knoxville, that’s like a whole other experience,” Jones said.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Schools teamed up for a new pilot program called Youth Freedom Pass. The program gives students free KAT rides for the year. Officials wanted to post flyers around schools and bus stations to get the word out, tapping Iyana to create the design.
“I’ve seen it and I’ve really been happy,” Jones said.
She wasn’t alone.
Her classmate, Jude Pollard, got in on the artwork.
“I really enjoy the process, because it’s hard to get professional jobs and as a student,” Pollard said.
They said the collaboration was an easy effort as they’re both comic book club members at Fulton.
“We do sell comic books. At the University of Tennessee, they have our books in the archives. So, it’s been a very great experience,” Jones said.
Their work in the after-school club is how they were picked to be a part of the city’s marketing team.
Their hope moving forward:
“...that possibly with my art, and me being so young, it can open up open opportunities for other kids,” Jones said.
Iyana and Jude said they’re both headed to ETSU to major in digital media.
As for the program, a city spokesperson said it’s doing great, providing more than 600 free rides in two weeks.
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