Over a two-month period, two children from Science & Arts Academy of Des Plaines worked on creating a unique mural on the theme for their current academic year: Virtues. The team at Painting in Partnership conceived this project and facilitated its creative process.
The official unveiling of the mural took place on October 24th, in front of a gymnasium full of hundreds of students, family and friends. Our two artists, Anna and Juliana, had the honor of narrating the meaning of their creation. They were excited and surely up to the task. Everyone enjoyed their heart-felt presentation.
To complete the experience, we asked them to tell us what they learned from this mural painting experience. Mary Helen, one of the moms, came up with a series of insightful questions for them. Here are some extracts:
How was the mural painting experience different from what you expected? Is there any part of the mural creation process that would apply to the theme for the mural?
In some ways, the mural experience was different that we expected: it was a lot harder. We underestimated the surface as far as the size of the painting. A 4”x5″ canvas can hold a lot of rolling hills!
And the bulldog on the path is like the process of the painting in some way. There maybe be an obstacle, but you have to persevere if you want to get to the happy place. You can’t just give up the first time it gets hard or tedious or whatever. You have to be determined, and to create a good mural you have to stick with it and get through the obstacles and the boring parts so you can get to the fun parts and the things that make the mural really good. And we are proud of what we created, and grateful for the help from Mario and Fran and Rita.
So your mural seems to say that being a good person is a choice. Why would anyone choose not to be on the path to light?
We think the mural says that being a good person is a choice. At least that is one way to take it, but it will be different for everyone. What if the world you lived in was so strict that you thought you were bad by those standards, but you were really good by other standards? People need perspective about what good really is.
Why don’t people just take the path to light? Because it takes work!!! Because they don’t realize it is the path to the light and just assume it is a path to deeper darkness. They see the obstacles and don’t know the other side. If they have never seen the light, how do they know what darkness is? If you don’t feel joy, then you don’t know sadness for what it is.
How do people get stuck in the dark and scary part of the mural?
We think people get stuck sometimes because of their own fear or their laziness. They get bored, or anxious, or they ignore their compass. Maybe they get confused about the compass and which arrow points in the right direction. But to move to a better place, they have to find their compass and look at it and let it guide them. This takes determination. The shadow wolf chasing the white rabbit is desperation chasing hope. Desperation tries to catch and swallow hope, but it is not too late for people to choose the path.
Congratulations to our young artists Anna and Juliana for their thoughtfulness and determination. Job well done! I would be remised not to thank their mothers for their engagement with the process and their overall support. Lastly, I want to acknowledge Science and Arts Academy for creating an environment that nurtures creativity and self-expression. Our team at Painting in Partnership is grateful for having been part and witness to this creation. This project was an opportunity to express the true meaning our company’s name.