Somerville Cafeteria

The Somerville School cafeteria had a mural painted in it about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, it was no longer looking its best and had many spots that were chipped and dirty. The school decided to do a complete makeover of the cafeteria and hired us to paint the mural. This is the school where Samantha is the full time art teacher. The Home and School Association gave us a generous grant to work with the students to generate this mural. Mark came to every class in June as an artist-in-residence for 1 week and worked with students to create drawings for the mural. After learning about public murals and doing a bit of brainstorming on ideas, the students were to draw pictures of what they learned in school during that year. Students came up with a fantastic range of activities from special subjects such as music, health, p.e., art and library to the everyday learning in math, social studies, science, reading and writing. Of course lunch and recess are also fairly represented. This mural has approximately 450 drawings from students k-4. The drawings will be bound in a book that will be kept in the school office. The new mural is a quote, "Today is a great day to learn something new!", with the Somerville leopard mascot sitting on the edge of the words and thinking. His thought bubbles wrap around two walls and contain the students drawings as do the letters in the quote. Mark and Samantha transferred the student drawings adjusting them only for size and composition and arranged them together in the mural. They then colored in the drawings with a limited palette that repeats throughout so that the richness of color is not missed, but also does not overwhelm the drawings or the space. The final result is a fun, functional cafeteria where students feel welcome and enjoy finding their drawings as well as their friends drawings. It aptly demonstrates the wide range of authentic experiences that our students enjoy and absorb on a regular basis.