Mural Teaching Artists + Youth = The Dream Team
“What makes your heart happy?”
“How do you make others feel welcomed?”
These are some questions that ArtReach Mural Teaching Artists use to guide students to sketch themes and imagery that are meaningful to them and the community in which they interact with daily. Our Teaching Artists ground their creativity in listening and process, and invite youth to push up their sleeves and be the creative catalyst in each step.
Together, we practice, discuss, draw, erase, rearrange. We wash the wall. We hold our drawings in the air and envision the life and joy they will breathe into an often-ignored section of campus. On Community Paint Day, youth lead their community as mentors, inviting all to grab a brush, make a mark, and give back to their space.
Through hours of behind the scenes preparation, ArtReach Mural Teaching Artists are collaborating with youth to create and plan a new space to share with classmates, educators, mentors, neighbors, and families. For many youth, the #artreachmuralprogram
is their first experience with creating art in a school or community setting.
“Each mural contains a different story and feeling. A different wall, space, and group of youth who guide this story. We never know what a wall will look like before we start. We must hear and collect from the youth: their ideas, their drawings, their words. We must always be listening to the ones who live, breath, and exist in the space surrounding the mural. I love that the ArtReach Mural Program prioritizes this first and foremost. This is what interests me most about creating murals with youth: hearing their ideas and seeing their imagery from their own hand. Empowering them to be the leaders and deciders of what goes on this large, large wall. Painting the story of the mural, together.”
-Isabel Halpern, Mural Program Manager
Art Is Education: The ArtReach Mission
ArtReach believes that all children, regardless of zip code or socioeconomic status, benefit from the opportunity to practice creative thinking and creative doing. We exist to increase access to visual arts education by connecting students at K-12 schools throughout San Diego County with practicing artists. We focus on providing free workshops to students at schools that meet need criteria and have no or scant visual arts education resources.