Glen Park Spring Mural Project

In the Spring of 2015 Create Peace Project spent six weeks at Glen Park Elementary school in San Francisco’s Glen Park district.  We worked with the entire k – 5 school to create a giant 250+ft mural in their school yard?  This was the largest and most rewarding project Create Peace Project has led to date.


The process involved us being on location for 3 days per week for six weeks. We worked with groups of 10-12 students for 45 minutes at a time.  Every student and teacher painted on this mural.   The first phase involved the kids painting large solid shapes.  Once we had covered the wall in a tapestry of color forms, we began painting smaller shapes and patterns inside the larger shapes.  The second phase, as well as the first, gives the children full creative freedom to choose a color, organize their ideas for a pattern in chalk on the ground, before adding their mark to the wall.

We invite the students to explore how their work compliments and enhances the existing color and forms on the wall.  Working in pairs of two, allows the youth to share painting and supporting by holding paint and exchanging brushes while they worked.  Our mural then evolved by choosing 100 students, selected for good behavior and artistic passion, as well as through a random selection as part of the schools reward system for good behavior.  Each of the 100 students, 4-6 from each classroom, were chalks onto the wall.  Once their silhouettes were drawn, we painted around them, covering the negative space and reveling the peaceful inner landscapes of the rainbow of color and form they had previously painted.

Along with the 100 student bodies permanently stenciled onto the wall, we added simple uplifting phases and positive words that were generated by each classroom.  The teachers worked with their kids to come up with a message that represented their classroom and then using a similar technique, to chalk the letters, we painted the negative space around the block/bubble letters to reveal the positive messaging on the wall above and around the children bodies.

The community was thrilled with the end result.  Parents, neighbors, teachers, and of course the youth were overjoy to see the school yard where the kids have recess, eat lunch, learn in their garden transform into a beautiful and uplifting expression of their collective creativity.  What a joy.  The mural is entitled: The Peace Dance, and oh what a dance it was!

DSC_0152 DSC_0174 

DSC_0410 DSC_0502

DSC_0539 DSC_0563