EDUCATION:Lester School and the Community Mural Program

Meet Kathy Dumlao, Associate Curator of Education, as she talks about her new upcoming project with kids from all over Memphis. Her mural project gives children an outlet not only to paint their school walls, but to engage in the art world and gain an understanding of painting through the history of art.

Sherwood Elementary School Mural, Spring 2008

Beginning Friday, April 16th, the Brooks Education Department will present its fourth annual Community Mural Program. This year’s mural is our sixth, and will take place at Lester School in the city’s Binghamton neighborhood. Working with a small group of the schools’ seventh and eighth grade populations, Teaching Artist Jon Hart and Art Therapist Tammy Kurre will lead the students through a two-week project that will result in a mural of the students’ design on a wall near the entrance of the school.

Students will begin with a brainstorming and sketching session to come up with content for the mural’s design. The theme,Time and Change, will be enhanced by a visit from an alumnus of Lester, Sandra Harris, who graduated fifty years ago. Mr. Hart will compile the students’ sketches into the final design, which will reflect their thoughts and ideas about the theme. Following their brainstorming session, students will visit the Brooks to see how great artists over many centuries have used the medium of paint to convey big ideas, share important histories, retell myths and biblical stories, and represent the likenesses of significant people.

Treadwell Elementary School Mural, Spring 2009


After their inspirational visit to the museum, the students will embark on the process of transferring the mural design to the wall and filling it with paint. Gathering after school, students will take turns working on the mural with Mr. Hart and creating complementary art projects in the classroom with Ms. Kurre. A dedication reception for the students, their families, and teachers and administrators from the school will be held on Thursday, April 29th to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and their completion of the mural.

Orange Mound Community Center Mural, Students from Fairview Junior High School, Melrose High School, Sherwood Middle School, and Airways Middle School Spring 2007

Previous mural projects have been completed at the Orange Mound Community Center, Sherwood Elementary School, Campus School, Treadwell Elementary School, and Magnolia Elementary School.

The Community Mural Program is generously sponsored 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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