I am THRILLED, to say the least. The building that got the mural is made entirely of a lovely shade of beige. It gets rather dull, as you can imagine -- so when I made the proposal for a mural, and it got accepted, I was over the moon.
Immediately, the difference in the space was felt. What was once drab and boring was now bright and interesting. I always preach the benefits color and artwork will do to a space, and I've always felt the media center is the perfect place in a school for such things. (Really, I think color and art should be throughout schools, but many districts have policies over murals and what sorts of art and paint can be used on walls, how much can be hung up, what can be on tables in the hallway, etc. so I know it isn't always feasible.)
I gave a basic idea to the art teacher (something colorful with a quote about reading) and let her do her thing -- she got every grade level in the building to help make the mural. Even better, it's not painted directly onto the wall, so we can switch it out if we want, or even move it. I've always loved displaying student artwork in the media center (as I think most media specialists do) but this building doesn't have space to do so. Having this mural is the best way to get student artwork up and help to brighten the area.
I loved hearing from the art teacher what some of the kids said while working on the project. The pictures include drawings of students as well as drawings of their favorite storybook characters, and seeing what the kids chose to bring to life is fascinating.
I can't wait for the kids to see it and hear their conversations about what characters they drew (and why!), as well as share with each other their art. I know they'll be so proud of their work and contribution to making the media center a space more their own. Maybe one day I'll have some space to allow clay creations or paper masks or other artwork to be displayed, allowing the whole building to see what other students are creating and inspiring each other. Whenever we put up a new book display (complete with extra goodies like stuffed animals, pictures, memorabilia, etc), the conversations we have with students is nothing short of amazing, and I know if we were able to put up their artwork, those conversations would be even more impressive. It never fails to intrigue me how art can influence kids, and people in general, as well as get them to think more creatively and expressively.
Reading + art = a magical combination! (Just look at graphic novels!)
If anyone has any stories about getting artwork in the media center, please share! I'd love to hear about it!