SCC students draw attention to diversity through muralsA group of St. Croix Central Middle School artists are drawing attention to the importance of celebrating diversity in school and the community.
By: By Ashley Halladay, New Richmond News
A group of St. Croix Central Middle School artists are drawing attention to the importance of celebrating diversity in school and the community.
“We decided to use art to make diversity visible in our school,” said middle school art teacher Kim Knutson.
The “mural crew” of about eight students in fifth and sixth grade volunteered to help the district’s diversity committee celebrate diversity through murals at various locations within the school.
Knutson said it is important that students learn to accept and appreciate people from different cultures, religions, ethnicities, physical abilities, points of view and sexual preferences.
She said the crew has done an amazing job of capturing the meaning of diversity.
At the first Wednesday night mural crew meeting the students went online and looked up phrases and images related to diversity. The students brought sketches of their ideas to the second meeting and combined the best ideas from each person’s sketch to create their mural designs.
Knutson said the crew has required very little direction.
“They’ve done pretty much everything themselves,” she said.
Two key members of the mural crew are sixth-graders Moqui Huberty and Savannah Bodish.
They said the first mural, between the band and choir rooms, expresses how everyone is equal.
The phrase the crew chose for the equality mural is, “We are all beautiful no matter how different we are.”
In the first mural there are two people of different skin tones holding up the world, which is made of handprints.
“We made the world of handprints to show that everybody can make their mark on the world,” said Huberty.
The crew’s second mural is located outside the art room and focuses on love and peace.
The colorful mural is a diptych, made of two panels. One panel says love. The other panel says peace.
“If the world accepted diversity and nobody cared what difference you had, it’d be full of love and peace,” said Bodish.
The crew drew puzzle pieces and rainbow stripes to express how people of diverse backgrounds need to fit together to create love and peace in the world.
“When I think of diversity I think of all the colors of the rainbow,” said Huberty. “We didn’t want to do just straight rainbow stripes, so we thought of drips. The words love and peace are made of puzzle pieces because we all fit together to make up those words.”
The girls say they’ve learned a lot by working on the diversity-themed murals.
“Even though there are different groups and different ethnicities, we’re all the same, a lot like a rainbow. The colors of the rainbow are all the same, really, except it’s just how they appear,” said Huberty.
The girls say they’ve enjoyed working together to leave their mark on the middle school.
Huberty said she really enjoys using art as a way to express her thoughts.
“It’s hard to write down your thoughts on paper, but with painting or drawing you can just draw them however you want,” she said.
Once the second mural is complete, the crew will start on a third mural near the school elevator.
That mural will show a diverse group of individuals together in an elevator.
Knutson said the crew will probably create murals next school year, too.
Knutson encourages visitors at the middle school to check out the diversity murals.
Middle school students interested in joining the crew should contact Knutson.