I was honored to be selected as one of the artist to paint a mural for the students of Salem Middle School. I had initially proposed a black and white composition but Marcus Bishop, SMS Art teacher, challenged me to add color.

After a quick trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, where I got to see paintings by two of my favorite artist’s, Matisse and Picasso, I decided on a blue, green, and gray combination they often used.

It was a rough start. In addition to me not being sure if I was going to like it, both the students and teachers on site for summer programming were a little wary. As the details got added and second coats were painted, it started to come together. Kids started to come up to tell me how cool it was and ask me questions as did several teachers.

In the end, I’m really happy with how it turned out and plan to work with color on future projects.

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For more information about the Salem Middle School project you can contact my friend and fellow artist Joe Dreher who founded, curates, and manages the project.