Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Exploring Culture through the Arts Mural

The finished mural.

This mural was a part of the 2007 Drexel Elementary School Arts Day Extravaganza held on March 15 in Tucson, AZ. The 5th annual event featured over 160 local artists, musicians and entertainers representing over 46 groups. The event provided interactive, multicultural and multi disciplinary arts experiences for the children at the school.

The organizers Lupe Pressey, Arts Day Coordinator and Lorena Escarcega Principle of Drexel Elementary hope the event will inspire children to “attend a play,shoot a video,compose a poem, dance, paint a picture,sing, attend a concert, beat a drum, or read a book about your favorite artist.”

The event is not only great for students it’s a model program for educators and community arts organizations. Principles from other schools attended and witnessed for themselves how the arts can transform and enrich a learning environment.

I designed this mural with the spirit of the school and place in mind. I included places for students to create things that fly, things that grow, patterns and the interior of windows. For this project I had four groups of kids work with me for 90 minutes. In this time they were asked to create drawings and then enlarge and transfer them onto the mural (a combination of on the wall and parachute cloth) with pencil. They then selected their paint from a pre set pallet of 91 colors created for the mural. The kids painted until the very last minute, they were so careful with the supplies,mixing colors and had the ability to express their ideas through drawing. Clearly this is a school with a fantastic art teacher!

Transfering Ideas to Parachute Cloth.

The next day Jodi and I came in and installed the parachute cloth pieces. I then spent several days I doing the touch ups and varnish.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Participatory Murals 2: Season of Nonviolence

Recently was invited to design a participatory mural illustrating the theme: "Tucson a City of Peace" as part of the Season of Nonviolence. I wanted to create an image showing people working together to change the world through creativity and nonviolence. I decided on the image of weavers, weaving peace over the planet. The image of the globe is upside down to suggest that we look and listen to what the southern half of the world is thinking, feeling and saying.

Design for the mural.

Community members were invited to paint the mobile mural during the annual Tucson Peace Fair held in Reid Park on February 24, 2007. About 45 people of all ages participated throughout the day. They had a great time, many staying until the work was finished. People would come back throughout the day to watch the progress. The Tucson Peace Fair is a great place to learn more about the social change community in the Sonoran Bioregion. In addition to the mural the day was filled with music, food, information and dance. It’s so encouraging to see so many people and groups who are working who care about the environment, peace and social justice.

Soon the mural will be taken on display to a variety of sites throughout Pima County - and maybe beyond!
For more information on the Season of Non Violence check out their web site:

Working on the mural.

The Finished Mural