After almost a month of hard work and seemingly endless painting, the first panel of Blaine Elementary School’s enormous Cultural Diversity stairwell mural has been completed.
It’s just one part of a three-story art project commemorating the school’s rich history and the diversity each student brings to the area. Art Teacher Shana Ryback and her Room Parent Pilar Reed are the masterminds behind the massive stairwell artwork, and they say it's just one of nine panels they plan to paint.
“We are actually only on floor one and are taking this baby all the way to the third floor!” Reed wrote in an email. “It's going to be fantastic! Like a mural museum. The Art Teacher, Mrs. Ryback, and I created a survey and sent it to all Blaine families inquiring about their family lineage. This mural will tell a beautiful story of family, sacrifice, immigration, love, unity and respect – and will even include aspects of Chicago's rich history.”
The first panel is filled with different symbolic imagery pertaining to the school and different cultures. From blue jays – the school’s mascot – to a giant sun representing strength and courage, Reed says the wall will be a perfect addition to last year’s Unity Circle stairwell project.
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The next panel of the mural will be based on “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss, and other upcoming panels will even include more than just paint, like paper mache and collage techniques.
The Blaine Beautification Committee, the team behind the mural, is comprised of Pilar Audain-Reed, Shana Ryback, Lisa DePinto, Madi Leanga, Shazi Baumeister, Stacy Boyle, Pippa Kinloch, Ula Ciesielska, Miyeon Kwon, & Suzanne Denison.