Oakland Gets Four New Murals

Ever heard of Mural Season? It's when my car looks like this.

Some years it extends through the entire school year, but my Mural Season was condensed and intense this spring—and I liked it! The four public mural projects I had lined up for the 2012-2013 school year (two painted, two mosaic) all got underway in March and April. The weather was beautiful for spending 3-hour stints outside, painting or applying mosaic tiles at (usually) three different sites each week.

Let’s see… when I add it all up, nearly 300 people have gotten their hands dirty—in the best way—creating these four murals so far. Mostly children, but the kids were joined by teachers, neighbors, community volunteers, grandparents, and basically anyone who stood around watching for too long or who visited from out of town in the past few months. (That’s my idea of entertaining guests!)

I’ll give you a quick tour this time around, and maybe go into more depth in separate posts. Now sit back and enjoy the show…

#1: Night Heroes, painted “bat mural,” Bella Vista Park, Oakland, California

Our "Park Angel" Dawn, with the enthusiastic 2nd graders who painted the background for the bat-themed mural

The 4th graders got the more glamorous job of stenciling flying bat shapes onto the wall.

more and more and more bats!

partial view of the 135-foot long painted mural, Night Heroes

#2: UNITY mosaic mural, Westlake Middle School, Oakland, CA

Here's the beginning of a mosaic mural. The middle school art students chose the theme and the basic design. If using mirror is part of the plan, I like to put that in first.

Creating a world map in mosaic was a challenge, but we nailed it!

the completed UNITY mural at Westlake Middle School

Up close, there's a whole world of characters, literally.

#3: Pollinators painted mural, Redwood Heights Elementary School, Oakland, CA

Mz. Claudia and I primed the wall, then painted quilt-like "squares" in different background colors.

Each 5th grader researched a pollinator, then painted it in one of the squares.

The completed Pollinators mural is located right next to the school garden.

Up close, you'll learn all kinds of great stuff.

#4: A Child’s Garden of Learning mosaic mural at the Bella Vista Child Development Center (CDC), Oakland.

The wall near the bus stop at the CDC corner was ripe for beautification

To get the project started, I spent a day with the preschoolers, getting their little handprints on tiles.

Piece by piece, we're putting the kids' tiles, broken tile pieces, and mirror accent lines on the wall.

It's been a community service project for my daughter's soccer team, and a family bonding opportunity, too!

mosaic mural-in-progress; expected completion: August 2013