School News: A Student-Made Mural in Seattle

Winter 2020

Murals continue to pop up in cities across the country, and Spruce Street School (WA) in downtown Seattle is getting in on the action. During the school’s Annual Arts Week, held this past April, students created a 120-foot-long mural in an alley that connects several pedestrian thoroughfares. The goal was to make the connection between the school and its neighborhood—and to add some color and joy. Students began painting on a Monday, and the finished product, called “Community Connected Mural,” was unveiled on a Friday.
The school’s art teacher, Felipe Perez, designed the main features of the mural, which include graphic representations of key programmatic elements, and all 110 school students took turns painting. The design incorporates the school’s history and traditions—including a portrait of Shakespeare that represents the school’s yearly performance of one of the Bard’s plays, and a marimba, the instrument every student learns to play. Passersby can enjoy whimsical images such as a giant megaphone and interact with components such as a tower of leaning teacups, which is meant to act as a photo backdrop for selfies.
“Spruce Street School has been an active member of the community for many years,” says Briel Schmitz, head of school. “We hope that this mural will be another way to engage with our neighbors and build connections.”  

(Left) Students pose with the mural for silly photos.

(Below) Art teacher Felipe Perez creates the outline of mural elements so students of all ages can paint.

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