"We Are Murray"
The Murray City Arts Advisory Board's mission is to promote the development, awareness and appreciation of, and participation in, the cultural arts and humanities in the city. To further their mission, the Arts Advisory Board acts as an advocate for the arts to be a significant element of the school curriculum.
Each year, as part of the art education element of their stewardship, the board chooses an art form for students to engage in that will enhance their education. This year, they have the opportunity to team up with Murray School District, the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Utah, and the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP), to produce the "Visual Arts Mural Project" for students within Murray City.
Follow the Project
We will be posting the projects ongoing progress through out the next several months on our Murray City Cultural Arts Facebook Page. Lead Professional Development Partner for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program - University of Utah region, Trish Saccomano, will also be reporting on the "Murray Mural Project" on the BTSALP website:
This school year (2018-2019), Murray School District has chosen the theme "We Are Murray" to help bring sense of belonging and pride to the students of each school. The students at each elementary were asked to draw what they felt being a part of their school represented. After this exercise, University undergraduate art majors, graduate art majors, and Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) visual art specialists met with students from each elementary to talk about the student drawings and come up with ideas for a mural unique to their elementary school.
After meeting with the elementary schools, the University students and BTSALP visual art specialists, transformed the drawings and ideas from those conversations, into mural drafts themed specifically for each of the nine elementary schools.
Next, the University and BTSALP students will meet with Junior High and High school students for input on color palette and hear suggestions on additions or revisions that might be added to the drafts. Once the outlines are finalized, each design will be printed onto a
4' x 8' piece of canvass and set up at the Murray Amphitheater to be painted. Elementary, junior high, and high school students will be bused to the Murray Mansion to help the University and BTSALP students to paint the murals. One of the paint days will be opened to the public and local artists.
With the completion of all nine murals, each elementary will have their own mural specific to their school identity.
The University and BTSALP students met with Junior High and High School students for input on the nine elementary mural drafts. Professor and Studio Graduate Director for the University of Utah, Kim Martinez, taught the high school and junior high students the importance of color temperature and the use of a calligraphic black line around the figures to aid in creating depth in the designs. After the quick lesson, the students were handed copies of the mural drafts and asked to color the designs with the use of only 10 different colored pencils. That color palette will be used for all nine murals as an effort to keep the murals cohesive and consistent to each other.
Mini Composition & Color Lesson:
The use of mixed scales is quite common, partly because it allows the inclusion of elements readable from different distances and accommodates the inclusion of greater complexity. Mixing scales also allows the layering of information that invites the viewer to progressively discover the mural over several viewings and that invites different readings over a period of time.
The use of a black calligraphic line around the figures will also aid in creating depth. The changing width of the line will help create shade on the flat form, because we will depend on color and line to make depth and value.
In an effort to keep the nine murals cohesive, the color palette below will be used for each mural. Warm colors help bring images come forward and cool colors recede figures. For example, the first two colors are both yellow but one is a pure or intense yellow, while the other is a low intensity and cooler yellow. They have about a 30% difference in value. The intense yellow is warmer and lighter in value, thus it will help move a shape forward.
As the high school and junior high students began coloring the mural drafts, the University and BTSALP students walked around the room, sharing the concepts behind each mural and listening to any suggestions the high school or junior high students had on the design of the murals.
Once color was being applied, some found that additional lines needed to be added to help define a shape or space. As you see in the example, the sun could add more definition and color variety if the sun-rays were blocked instead of a single line.
At the end of the day, the University and BTSALP students learned how to improve the murals through the perspective and creativity of the high school and junior high students. Those same students will be invited to the Murray Mansion later in the year to help paint the final murals alongside the University and BTSALP students.
Next, the University and BTSALP students will make their final touches on the nine murals and paint a small scaled version of each mural on canvass to present to the Murray City Arts Advisory Board.
Final touches have been made on the nine murals by the University students and the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program visual arts specialists. They painted maquettes of each mural with the chosen color palette and presented the final drafts to the Murray City Arts Advisory Board. The project’s progression and the nine mural designs were received with great enthusiasm from the Arts Board. With their approval, the black and white outlined drafts have been printed onto 4’ x 8’ pieces of canvass.
The University and BTSALP students are preparing the murals to be painted at the Murray Mansion. They have set up shop and mixed the paint colors and are ready to go. They will be working hard on the nine murals throughout the next month. Junior high and high school students will be bused to the Mansion to help paint the murals. Elementary students will also be bused to the Mansion and given paper copies of their school’s specific mural to color themselves.
It will take many hours, many days, and many hands to complete the nine murals before the end of the year. Each mural will be painted with 4 layers of paint, to help ensure the durability and preservation of the final artwork. Community members who are interested in participating, will be given a chance to help paint on Community Paint Day, November 9th between 1-5 pm at the Murray Mansion.
Stay tuned for more updates and photos of the murals being painted!
Murray High Students visit Murray Mansion
Murray High School students visited the Murray Mansion, October 24th, to help paint the nine murals. University and BTSALP students had started the first layer of paint on a few of the murals. The high school students were able to move between the different murals, painting either a first coat or second coat of color. Professor V. Kim Martinez took time to teach them the basics about paint chemistry and how to let the paint brush do all the work. At the end of the day, the University and BTSALP students continued where the high school students left off, who will be brought back to Murray Mansion for another paint day at the end of November.
The next painting guests will be Junior High students. Stay tuned to see them in action!
A huge THANK YOU to all our sponsors, supporters, the Murray City School District, the University of Utah Art and Art History Department and the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP), for the completion of all nine elementary school murals! Each mural has been painted and the edges are now being prepared to allow the murals to be hung. Countless numbers of hours and hands have all worked together in finishing these beautiful and unique murals.
All nine murals will be set up and open to the public during Murray High's Martin Luther King Jr. Concert, January 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm. All are invited to come and check out the murals. After the concert, each Elementary School will be given their mural. The murals will all be back together again during Murray Fun Days, 2019, and will be set up in Murray Park throughout the days festivities for public access and view. At the end of Murray Fun Days, the murals will once again be returned to the Elementary Schools for permanent care.
Each mural will be highlighted below, revealing one at a time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between December 31st and January 18th.
ELEMENTARY MURALS REVEALED
LIBERTY ELEMENTARY MURAL
"The students at Liberty love to run. Every year, they have the "Turkey Trot" with the principal dressing up as a turkey. The "Leopards on the Run, for Fun" is another running event. Pathways or the way we navigate life became the central theme of this mural. In the background of the mural are the neighborhood roads where the students of Liberty live. These pathways lead into the world, where we are all connected together. The world is support by "Steve the Tree" which is a tree outside the music room in the center of the Liberty Elementary property. Steve the Tree's roots extend into the history of Murray with the original Liberty Elementary building in the center (built in 1905 and torn down in 1988). Supporting the roots on both ends are two different historic church denominations, reminding us that the freedom to think and feel are what defines "liberty." At the beginning of the path, an unseen hand draws the line which represent the teachers and counselors who support the students at Liberty. Wrapped around this pencil is a leopard who needs extra support and comfort, as drawn and expressed by a student at Liberty. The stick figures holding hands around the bell illustrate shared humanity in our various pathways." -- Shannon Erickson, University of Utah Art student
GRANT ELEMENTARY MURAL
“When we visited the school, the kids told us that there was a tree they called “the broccoli tree” that was at one point hit by lightning. This became the central symbol for the design. The kids also talked a lot about the “power of yet” and their school’s belief in individual potential and growth. So, bursting from the lightning struck tree, we have interests, passions, challenges, and things that are important to the kids, like having fun, working hard, and being a good friend. This design is symbolic of moving forward with optimism and lightheartedness and seeing adversity as an asset. This is also reflected by the town in the background which includes both historical buildings quintessential to Murray and whimsical buildings made out of a paw print or a science project suggesting that we come from a rich history, but we build our own future.” - Molly McGinnis, University of Utah Art student
LONGVIEW ELEMENTARY MURAL
“Longview is known for their 6th grade class performing Shakespeare plays at their mini Shakespeare Festival for the student body. The student council also performs plays throughout the year, that help teach the student body how to make good choices. One of the students drew a lynx queen, who is the star of the play in this mural. The student to her right, with the glasses, has a good lynx, giving good advice, on one shoulder, and a bad lynx, giving bad advice, on the other. In addition to the strong theater tradition, students at Longview have the opportunity to participate in “Lynx Parties” when they behave well. The lynx with the student council shirt is shooting out confetti to represent this aspect of the student life. In the backdrop, the farmland to the right represents the homestead that used to be on the land that the school now possess. In the middle of the backdrop, the lynx mascot is about to cross the finish line of the fun run, another tradition of the student body.” - Sydney Porter, University of Utah Art student." - Sydney Porter, University of Utah Art student.
HORIZON ELEMENTARY MURAL
“Located just west of I-15 off 5400 South, Horizon Elementary School is lucky enough to be next to the Kennecott Nature Center, an organization dedicated to the health and education of the Jordan River. The students at Horizon covered many topics in their art from playing with friends, to walking around the Jordan trail, but all of them agreed and talked about the importance of taking care of our planet and the area where they live. Taking this cue from the students, we have students and huskies (their mascot) along the banks of the Jordan River. Together this group of people and puppies, of all shapes and sizes, help take care of their home and the river that runs through it. Students work together to pick up trash, recycle, and just enjoy the world around them. In the background the mountains and sun come up over the horizon. There is the ghost of the iconic Murray stacks, vines wrapping up around their memory symbolizing Murray City’s reclamation of nature from the refinery, while also never forgetting the past that made the city so great.”
- Miranda Klausmeier, University of Utah Art student.
TWIN PEAKS ELEMENTARY MURAL
“Twin Peaks Elementary was established in 1957 and built upon land that was once part of a 160-acre homestead previously owned by Simpson D. Huffaker. This fertile valley, settled initially by early Mormon pioneers, is cradled by two life-giving creeks: Big and Little Cottonwood Creeks. Built on the foundation of our forefathers, we learn and grow together. We protect and utilize the natural world and show our appreciation for all the goodness and abundance it has, and will continue to offer us. Talking to the students I heard a lot about the special Scholar Pledge: “everyday vowing to learn and do better, and to help those around them to aspire to do the same”. They care about their younger counterparts, and their futures in this world. The Panther mascot represents the students of Twin Peaks as a symbol of physical health, leadership, intelligence, and ferocity. These panthers are leaving their mark, a trail built from their generosity, teamwork, and acts of kindness - all working together toward greater goals.”
- Hannah Christensen & Martin Berry, University of Utah Art students.
VIEWMONT ELEMENTARY MURAL
“Viewmont Elementary in Murray City was built in an area that was once a large expanse of farmland, which is why we added the farm rows and vegetation in the foreground. Viewmont students drew many symbols of learning, Images included their school, and some of their interests. We added many examples of the student’s artwork. Their mascot is an Eagle and they have two school motoes. They are “Soar” and “Rise Up”. Which is why we included the hot air balloons in the Eagle to show school pride.”
- Brittany Black & Chelese Craig, University of Utah Art students.
WOODSTOCK ELEMENTARY MURAL
“Woodstock Elementary School is a community of children and adults who work together as a team. Occasionally for a reward, students get to have snow cones. In the center of the mural is a giant snow cone built from bricks because of the historical homestead in Murray that manufactured bricks, and it is shown here being built by the community of Woodstock as they lift each other up. The wolverine is the school mascot, seen skateboarding across the ribbon. The ribbon represents the passage of time, from the old school built in 1906 in the background, to the foreground which focuses on the students. Every Friday the students have a read a thon where they can bring blankets and treats and read. When asked what Woodstock’s greatest asset was, many students answered that they work together as a team and support each other, hence the children holding hands. Other things of interest that students noted were gymnastics and art. The butterflies represent the playfulness of the school as a whole, and how they continue to grow and develop together.”
- Erin Esplin, University of Utah Art student.
MCMILLAN ELEMENTARY MURAL
“The students at McMillan Elementary School were fascinated by the school’s library. Therefore, the foundation of this mural is resting on books. Books can take us to an infinite amount of places in our imagination. As a child, anything is possible, we even found animals within the clouds. In their school library, the solar system hung from the ceiling, a monkey was found in a tree, and the room was filled with possibilities. The students also spoke about how important it is to build friendships, so you will see pairs of friends within the design. The majority of this design was created by using the McMillan students’ drawings. In 1954 the McMillan school was built on the McMillan family farmland and was originally named Hillcrest Elementary, but in 1960, the name was changed to McMillan Elementary to honor the McMillan family who formerly owned the property. It is the only Murray school named after a local family. In light of this, the McMillan brothers sit on the book cover in the center and there are farm animals climbing out of the book on the left onto the branches of the growing imagination tree to represent these historical elements.”
- Tiarra Cook, University of Utah Art student
Many MANY years ago, not far from Murray, two teenagers attended the same high school. They did not run in the same crowd but knew of each other and had many similar friends and of course, were both Granite Farmers-proud of their community and their school. But their story did not end in high school.
Meet V. Kim Martinez and Lori Shepherd Edmunds, both lovers of everything artsy.
V. Kim Martinez is a professor of painting and drawing in the Department of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts, University of Utah, since fall 2001. Kim has an active visual artist record, exhibiting locally, notionally, and internationally. In 2003, Kim started a community arts project, Perspective REALIA (Research Engagement for Associative Learning in Arts) a course, which provides students the opportunity to propose, create, and implement public art in the form of mural designs and paintings throughout the Salt Lake City area, in an effort to create social change. Kim has always encouraged the use of art to foster a sense of community and democratic engagement.
Lori Edmunds shared her love for the arts through volunteering and found herself over the Arts Department in South Jordan City for over a decade. While working for South Jordan, Lori meet another art lover, Mary Ann Kirk, whom she has always admired.
Mary Ann Kirk started her work with Murray City as a volunteer, creating the Arts Advisory Board in 1986/87. At first, most of the programming was focused on utilizing the amphitheater and working with the 4 main local art organizations - Murray Arts Council (theater), Murray Symphony, Murray Concert Band, and the Ballet Center. Mary Ann was hired in 1992 as the first Cultural Programs Manager for Murray City in a 10 hour paid position. In her new role, she continued to work with the Arts Advisory board in surveying community needs for different art forms, skill levels, and different ages. Slowly they developed year round arts programming.
One of the age groups they focused on included the youth and the Arts Advisory Board began to map out a plan for the youth to enjoy a wide variety of arts as not only a patron but as a participant as well. They felt they could reach more children by working more closely with the schools for daytime instruction. Throughout the years, residencies focusing on three main art forms was established and became tradition offered to the schools. Dance, Music, and Visual Arts residencies are offered on a three year cycle.
After 25 years, Mary Ann Kirk decided to retire and Lori Edmunds was hired to take her place as Murray City Cultural Arts Program Manager. Lori reconnected with Kim Martinez at a Change Leader meeting that was sponsored by the Utah Department of Arts and Museum in 2017. So, when it came time to carry on the tradition of every third year offering a visual art experience to the students in Murray City, Lori knew just who to contact.
Stay tuned as the story, "Connecting Lives on Canvas" continues to unfold. Next episode Monday, November 5th!
Meet Britt Black.
Britt loved to doodle and imagine all kinds of creative ideas when she was young but never paid much attention to art. While attending Hillcrest Jr. High, she was required to take an Art class from Mr. Kline. Although reluctant, she eventually decided to give her assignments a real try.
It was not until her older sister, Meghan, encouraged her to take Mr. White's Drawing 1 elective class at Murray High, that she realized art was her niche. As she continued to learn more in Mr. White's class, she would often tell her parents of her desire to be a professional artist. She grasped how to refine portrait drawings and sampled painting with oils for the first time. With Mr. White's encouragement, she participated in an Art show for the first time. Following her passion, she continued taking art classes, including an AP art class from Mr. Moffet, who also offered her much support.
As she neared her senior graduation, Mr. White pulled her aside and said, "Brittany, I want you to know that art sometimes doesn't click with everyone, but it does with you, so keep doing it." Those words caused her to believe she was an artist and helped her stay the course at times she doubted herself.
After graduating from Salt Lake Community College, Britt was uncertain of her plans. She acquired a job as a paraeducator for an elementary school. As she assisted kids in reading and writing, teachers often solicited her aid in teaching art classes to their students. With a taste for teaching art, Britt returned to school at the University of Utah, taking education and art courses. However, once she attended the art classes, she terminated the education courses and focused on art full time. After four years she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. During her time at the university, she learned from several amazing professors and artists, including John Erickson, Sam Wilson, Alison Denyer, Tom Hoffman, John O'Connell, and Kim Martinez.
Britt continued learning, participating in many printmaking classes and additional education classes. Eventually, she became acquanted with the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP), where she began working as a paraeducator once again at the same elementary school. Another educator, Linda Williams, explained the Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL), where Brit could obtain a teaching license. That year she taught art five times a week to all the grades in a rotation as a para. As a result of her hard work and talents, Principal Joan Bramble offered her the BTS position. Now she has now been teaching in the BTSALP since 2016 and is close to achieving her teaching license through the ARL program.
"Art is what got me through it all, art and all the people who helped me along the way. It's also incredibly validating to know that art is, what will get me to my future" - Britt Black
Britt Black, Mr. White, and Kim Martinez have been reunited through the "We Are Murray" mural project. Britt is once again a student of Kim's through the BTSALP and has assisted in designing Viewmont Elementary's mural. As Kim and Lori Edmunds have been working with Murray High School, Mr. White has been organizing his students' attendance on paint days, as well as assisting the University of Utah and BTSALP students. Mr. White was surprised to hear Britt Black's name as one of the teachers helping with the "We Are Murray" mural project. He remembered her presence as his student and reflected upon how she was a very talented, young artist. He knew she had continued art at the University of Utah and had a fantastic show of her work when she graduated, but he had lost touch with her. Now she returns with skills she has learned from Mr.White and Professor Martinez and is imparting them to her own students.
"The "We Are Murray" mural project is not only banding the schools and students of Murray together to create a wonderful work of art, it is also uniting the generations of students and teachers from Murray." - Mr. White
Professor V. Kim Martinez began her tenure at the University of Utah with the Department of Fine Arts as an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing in 2001 and was promoted to a full Professor in 2015. She is dedicated to art as a vehicle for social change and knew making art with a cohesive group would create an environment that was enriched and could change the undergraduate experience. Kim developed a large-scale mural painting course, Perspective REALIA (Research Engagement for Associative Learning in Arts) that would allow students to leave the confines of the campus to go into the community and work together to alter both the students and community members experience and impact the appearance of the city. Together with the community, Kim and her students have created 26 large scale murals and will be able to add 9 more to the list as they finish the Murray City Elementary murals.
Currently enrolled in her Perspective REALIA course are undergraduate and graduate art major students along with Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) visual arts specialists. One student, Britt Black, whom we met earlier, is part of the BTSALP.
The Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program provides art-integrated instruction to elementary students, effectively increasing student performance in every subject; from language arts and social studies to math and science. The program is currently in 300 Utah elementary schools and is serving approximately 202,800 students. BTSALP specialists are trained in one of four art disciplines; visual art, dance, music, and theatre. Through the BTS Program, they are placed in elementary schools to work alongside classroom teachers to develop lesson plans for the core curricula that incorporates art. The program is administered statewide through the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), who collaborates with deans and university staff to provide professional development for the arts specialists and classroom theaters. Professor Martinez's Perspective REALIA course provides such education and experience for BTSALP visual arts specialists.
Trish Saccomano, is the lead Professional Development Partner for the BTSALP in the University of Utah region. She works with the visual artists and elementary school students and is also on the faculty of the Consumer and Family Studies Department at the University of Utah. She has been attending Professor Martinez's Perspective REALIA course and has partnered with a graduate student in creating the murals for Parkside Elementary School.
Professor V. Kim Martinez and Lori Edmunds both had attended the Change Leader Institute, a professional development program through the Utah Division of Arts and Museum. Participants attend a three-day immersive institute with instruction on assessing environments, communication and facilitation skills necessary to implement change. These Change Leaders form a network of leaders that share a common language, mentor each other, and convene through leadership circles and conferences. Change Leader conferences are typically held twice a year, one of which is held the day before the Mountain West Arts Conference. Though Kim and Lori did not attend the Institute at the same time, they both attended the Change Leader Conference in 2017. It was during that conference they reconnected, having attended the same high school, they had not seen each other since that time. Lori Edmunds had already started working for Murray City and was preparing to replace Mary Ann Kirk as the Cultural Arts Program Manager. She learned how Kim was a Professor at the University of Utah, with a course focused on community mural painting. With that creative seed in place, when it came time for Lori to carry on the tradition of every third year offering a visual art experience to the students in Murray City, she knew who to contact - Professor V. Kim Martinez.