Mountain View Mural Project: A Creative Collaboration
I want to share about an incredible collaborative opportunity between students at Mountain View High School, taught by Bart Francis, and professional comic book artist Dimi Macheras. A grant was written and approved to have a high school art program collaborate with the Indian Affairs Governor’s Office to learn more about the Utah Native American community and collaborate with a Native American artist. Macheras worked with Bart’s students to generate imagery and ideas for the mural, and then created a cohesive design. He then came out to Utah to work with the students on creating and painting the mural. Bart mostly had his AP Art students work on this project. They worked on it for about a month during class time and many students also put in long hours after school.
This mural was able to help students learn more about indigenous cultures in Utah, connect with each other to create a permanent work of art, and provide an opportunity to work with a professional artist in the field. Some students also had great things to say about their experience. One student we interviewed said, “I really loved working on the mural. I put a lot of time into it. I liked that Mr. Francis made sure that all of us students had a chance to work on it and really listened to the ideas that I put out there. Mr. Francis was a good mediator because there were a lot of different ideas going together so he and the artist we were working with, Dimi, to help us solidify exactly what we wanted to do and it was a good experience.”
Zoe Fawcett told us, “Mr. Francis taught us how being different than others and truly being ourselves can serve as a way to create a very unique piece of art. He taught us to be unique and not be afraid to be bold.”
This mural was installed on March 31, 2021. I applaud Mr. Francis for being a teacher that was willing to go the extra mile to give his students such a unique opportunity.
This article was written by Anna Davis, Alpine School District Visual Arts Coordinator and UAEA Arts for Life Coordinator.