We are so excited to announce that we recently completed a mural at Clarkdale Elementary in Austell, Georgia. The mural, designed by artist Brent Coleman, is an enormous, 200 foot creation that almost all of Clarkdale’s 800 students were able to contribute to. This project was such an impressive operation that we even ended up on the news! You can check out the Cobb Ed TV video right here.
Brent is an artist in the Austell area and a father of a current Clarkdale student. He saw the mural as an exciting opportunity to give back to the community he loves. Brent worked tirelessly with kids, with volunteers, and on his own to make sure the mural came to fruition. He was an amazing lead artist for this memorable project.
Brent’s design fosters an inspiring sense of unity and inclusion, while also highlighting each student’s individuality. At the beginning and end of the mural, students were given a square to paint something that represented themselves. Then, they helped to paint town scenery that includes pictures of houses, libraries, and hospitals, as well as families and pets. Above the town are suns that have different countries’ flags in their centers. This represents the diversity of the Clarkdale student body, as many come from families of immigrants and refugees.
The mural also includes a Clarkdale Cardinal, a monster from Where the Wild Things Are, and the Langston Hughes quote “I, too, sing America.”
Additionally, the word “CLARKDALE” is decorated to represent key aspects of the school community. Those focal points include arts and music, language education, inclusiveness, STEAM, and athletics.
The project first started when Clarkdale art teacher, Beth Morris, reached out to Paint Love. She saw the blank, 250 foot wall and knew it had the potential to be the canvas of a great work of art. Beth was instrumental in organizing our workdays and making sure each student had the chance to contribute to the mural. We are also so grateful for the support of principle Liss Maynard, who welcomed us into the community and offered insight into what makes Clarkdale unique.
Our fantastic volunteer team was also key to making the mural a success. Volunteers Tina Stoffel, Yesha Shah, and Aaron Davis, as well as two enthusiastic teams of college students working with the organization Break Away, all came out to help. We were also joined by Paint Love Artist Mandy Goodwin and interns Jane Johnson and Colette Blackmon. Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of this project!
We couldn’t be happier with how the mural turned out. It is beautiful, expressive, and multifaceted - a great addition to the vibrant Clarkdale community. Check out this video too see it in its entirety:
At the end of our final day working with students, one little boy looked back at the mural and said, “Look what we did!” His joy and sense of accomplishment were truly memorable and remind us of the valuable impact projects like this have on the kids we serve. We can’t wait to hear how all the students react when they see the finished product in the fall.