Category Archives: design

It is Finished

Enjoy the finished mural, all 875 square feet of color, detail, and “Welcome” in 43 languages.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Not a bad representation of the original idea that emerged when the PTA Arts Committee reviewed 100 student submissions and layered six student recommendations on February 16. Following is the blog post that documented the original concept.

An Idea Emerges



As the PTA Arts Committee reviewed more than one hundred submissions on February 16, the image above emerged as one of the mural ideas by layering several student drawings.

At the foreground is a solitary student walking towards school, a new comer to the community. He is greeted by a classmate; all it takes is one student to begin helping another feel welcome. Then he’s embraced into the larger student body, which is part of a wonderfully diverse neighborhood, within a global city, in an interconnected world.

Time — and your input — will tell if this becomes the final concept. What do you think?

Thanks, Sam, for staying true to the students’ collective vision and empowering 400 of us to translate that vision together.


Color your own PS 102 Mural

A favorite activity at the Mural Celebration was children coloring the original mural sketches.  Here they are for your pleasure as well.

For optimal enjoyment, click on each thumbnail below, then download the larger image of each panel.  Print on regular 8×11 paper.

Final Design: Composite Color Scheme

After the image transfer, flat color paint, dark and light highlights, and detailing are complete this week, here’s basically what the finished product will look like (with “Welcome” translated in 40+ languages, cars, and micro-people populating the neighborhood).

Phase 2 Color Scheme

Two weeks ago we posted the artist’s sketch and grid scheme that reduced an 875 square foot wall into six inch squares and empowered 70 mostly unskilled volunteers to help transfer the image to the wall. Last week we posted the flat color scheme that empowered 80 volunteers to begin adding color to the wall. Below is the phase two color pallet that empowered 115 volunteers to paint dark and light highlights that add texture, depth, and contrast to the final image. To date, more than 300 hands have contributed to the wall.

Panel 1 (Dark/Light)

Panel 2 (Dark/Light)

Panel 3

Panel 4 (Dark/Light)

Panel 5 (Dark/Light)

Panel 6 (Dark/Light)

Panels 7 & 8 (Dark/Light)

Panel 9 (Dark/Light)

Coloring Part 1

Here’s the plan for the first layer of flat color. Yes, this is only the first coloring step. The final step will add highlights, shadows, and additional detail for depth and perspective.

The Design

Here it is, 875 square foot of mural design divided into nine segments and gridded to scale. Note that the grid is the key to engaging amateurs and unskilled volunteers throughout the process, by dividing the whole into 6-inch squares.

The entire design was inspired by more than 100 student submissions received on Valentine’s Day based on the question, “How does your family welcome guests into your home?” The mural’s narrative came from layering six pictures, and details came from other entries.

Transposing the mural outline to the wall involves three principal steps:

  1. Create the temporary grid using chalk lines and a number/letter scheme to find given squares.
  2. Sketch the outline using charcoal (which allows for erasable mistakes) one six inch square at a time.
  3. Paint over the charcoal to make the outline permanent.

[Click on each segment to enlarge.]

The Chosen Wall

The PS 102 2011 Mural Canvas

Still to be determined if we’ll go with the small or larger surface. Options:

  • Inner wall (painted surface, excluding windows): 512 square feet
  • Inner wall, plus left entrance and right column (painted surface, including doors, excluding windows): 864 square feet