Community Mural Program

Post written by: Kathy Dumlao

In March, students at Sherwood Elementary School and Campus School were excited to complete a Community Mural Program. The mural at Sherwood Elementary School was painted by a group of fifth-grade students, and the mural at Campus School was completed by students from the sixth-grade. The participants were selected through a writing activity where they wrote about why they thought there should be art in their school and how they thought art could change the way people look at the world.

To begin the mural process, teaching artist Jon Hart showed the students a video called How to Paint a Mural: Step by Step and talked about the process they would use for their project. Mr. Hart then had the students brainstorm on the theme of “community” by writing down their ideas about what community meant to them and making sketches of their ideas. Mr. Hart took the students’ drawings and compiled them into the final mural design.

On the second day of the project, the students made a trip to the Brooks Museum to see a variety of paintings in the museum’s permanent collection. The students really enjoyed their visit to the Brooks, especially because many had never been to the museum before.

After the final mural design was complete, the image was transferred to the wall using an overhead projector. Students traced the outlines from the drawing onto the wall and began the painting process.

As the first layers of paint were applied, the mural started to take shape, and students began to get excited about seeing their ideas, sketches, and designs come to life. With each new color and layer of paint, the mural came together. The completion of both murals was celebrated with a dedication reception at each school. The accomplishments of the students who designed and painted the mural were celebrated with food and friends. Everyone in attendance was proud of the students and thrilled with the completed murals.

Read the March 12, 2008 Commercial Appeal article on the Brooks’ Community Mural Program here.

The next mural project is scheduled for fall 2008 at Magnolia Elementary School.

The Community Mural Program is generously sponsored by the Highland Area Renewal Corporation and an Arts Build Communities grant, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and ArtsMemphis.

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