It was a truly remarkable experience to be a part of a legacy project on the grounds of my old stomping ground – Humewood Community School. I attended Humewood from Junior Kindergarten all the way up to grade 6, and the school holds countless cherished memories within its walls and its yard.

The journey began when a few weeks ago when Carly – a wonderful parent on the Parent Council at the school, reached out and asked if Raising Artists could volunteer to create a public mobile mural with the students as part of the art experience at the Humewood Fall Fair. I must admit, the project turned out to be more extensive than I initially expected, but at Raising Artists, we’re always ready to roll up our sleeves, and as a dedicated team, we believe we can achieve anything!

This endeavor became a true community effort on many fronts. From The Lovely Rita, who skillfully prepared and primed the plywood, to my friend who joined me to trace the mural in the wee hours of the night in Carly’s backyard, to our marvellous staff who continued running our Studio Sunday art programs while the other half of us were at Humewood, guiding the students in creating the mobile mural. We even reached out to our small business in the Humewood-Cedervale community and asked for their support in this magic – the incredible Benjamin Moore, who generously donated the paints, and the hard-working Parent Council at Humewood Community School for supplying all the necessary materials. Last but not least, our friend and photographer Kelly, who captured the magical process and brought it to life with her talented eye. This was a huge effort on everyone’s part to see this get to the finish line.

The two mural pieces came together seamlessly. For the first piece, we pulled inspiration from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work and selected three of his iconic pieces. The creative process behind this mural was truly inspiring. Children had the freedom to choose any colors and paint within the white spaces, making it a collaborative masterpiece. We took this opportunity to teach children how to hold brushes, mix colors, and be in tune with their creative process.

The second piece paid homage to the classic Humewood Husky mascot that I grew up with many years ago. Each child who contributed to the inside of the husky left their fingerprint and signed their names on the outside of the Husky, leaving a lasting mark on this wonderful project.

In the end, this project served as a beautiful reminder of the power of art to connect generations, communities, and hearts. The hallways of Humewood Community School, once filled with our childhood footsteps, now proudly display the vibrant, imaginative footsteps of today’s students. As an art teacher, seeing children and their families come together to create something meaningful was an absolute joy. We celebrated artistic freedom, individuality, and the boundless creativity that flows through every child. From the early sketches to the final brushstrokes, this mural was a labor of love, a collaborative effort that became a testament to the unity within our community.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible team that came together to make this project a reality – The Lovely Rita, my staff in and out of the studio, for the unwavering support of the school, the parent council, and Carly, and for the boundless enthusiasm of the students. It’s an experience I’ll cherish forever.

Art has a unique ability to bridge the past and the present, to infuse new life into old memories, and to inspire us all to reach for the stars. The Humewood Community School mural project not only celebrates the artistic spirit but also reminds us of the beauty that can be created when a community comes together in a creative act of unity.

Thank you for taking this journey with us, and here’s to many more adventures in art and community in the future.

Until Then,
The Art Teacher