Shelley Dresser, Eaglebrook’s Sustainability Coordinator, approached me during the winter trimester and asked if I’d like to be involved in a mural project. The theme would be Climate Change, and I readily agreed. After four months, lots of initial design work, the dedicated involvement of the sustainability committee, two painting classes, and weekend activity groups, it is completed and now hangs in the Edward P. Evans Center downstairs foyer.
While not initially intended as a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) project, I realized that students indeed used all these skills to reach the end result. The Sustainability Committee learned about the science behind the impact of climate change. During the Remote Learning period in December and throughout the school year, students in my art classes accessed technology to research images, better understand the issues relating to climate change, and begin communicating and sharing initial designs for the mural. Once we chose the final design by Dylan W. ’22, students used math to scale it up to fit sixteen 16” x 20” canvases. While it was difficult to imagine when they were penciling the design onto the canvases, the final result was impressive even just in black and white!
The spring painting class (Kodai G. '22, Dylan W. '22, Liam S. '22, Grayson L. '22, Cameron L. '23 & Darren L. '22) collaborated on the colors. Students wanted the mural to be dynamic but not overly ‘happy and bright’ as it was intended to show the negative effects of Climate Change. There was a good exchange of ideas and a lot of teamwork as they divided up responsibilities – who was going to paint which part of the design, how to remix that perfect shade of brown when it ran out, even where to sit so that everyone could reach their part of a mural that took up three tables.
As we neared the end of the term, other students walking by would stop and comment excitedly about the mural encouraging us to finish. Hats off to the dedication of this class and special thanks to Mr. David Gagnon who made bracing and hung the completed mural, another design challenge. Ms. Dresser was delighted with the final project and hopes that the mural will remind students to take care of the Earth and to do their part in helping it become healthier by being mindful in their use of resources. We only have one planet!