by Sam Green, Arts Integration Schools Manager

Earlier this month, middle school students in Ms. Keith’s art studio at Francis Scott Key Elementary Middle began working on their collaborative mural with artist Nicole Buchholz of Sol Raya Public Space. The mural was funded in part through Arts Every Day’s Public Art Grant last school year in combination with additional funding support from the Maryland State Aarts Council. 

Over this past weekend, work continued as students and their families gathered at the school to paint vibrant colors onto panels as part of their community painting day. 

Artist Nicole Buchholz collaborated with muralist Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen and Philadelphia Mural Arts to learn in-depth techniques of parachute cloth mural design, creation, and installation. Nicole collaborated with students and staff to design a mural to “inspire play, movement, and build school pride.” With the design process complete, students will now be engaging in a series of painting days to make their mark contributing to the mural panels. In addition to in-school painting days with students, Francis Scott Key’s family and community will be invited to contribute to the mural during a community paint day in December. 

I love any opportunity to make art with young people, and getting to join Ms. Keith’s students in the studio was a real highlight of the school year so far. It was a treat to see how thoughtfully the whole team at Francis Scott Key is approaching the mural process, and I cannot wait to see the project evolve! You can also learn more by visiting the project’s website.