Lauryn Rody, a Mississippi State University art major, recently completed a mural for West Clay Elementary School.
From Lauryn's Instagram talking about the project:
"This took about a year to go from planning to fruition. It was a wonderful and exhausting experience (a 40ft wall is quite an undertaking to paint).
Unfortunately, West Clay Elementary doesn’t have an arts program. I was approached to paint a mural that would give the kids access to a little more art.
It was easy to decide to do an interactive mural to get them involved in making art, but then I had to design what exactly this mural was going to be. I thought about what elementary school was to me. It was where I learned to read, and I learned how to color; and I learned the beginnings of what would be lifelong education.
Books have long been a gateway to learning, but I wanted them to be something a little bit more than that. Books are the gateway to imagination. I saw all of this information and imagination pouring out of a book. I wanted the students to be invited to interact with the mural. I put an additional three swirls on each end that are painted with chalkboard paint so the students can draw what inspires them, or the teachers can leave messages for their students.
The large book is resting on a shelf of 146 small books representing the students of the school.
It was amazing to talk to the teachers as they were setting up their classrooms for the new school year. Everyone was getting excited for the students to see the mural. The teachers were inspired to paint their classrooms with the leftover paint. They bought more paint and kept painting.
Towards the end of the mural, some teachers even began helping me paint the long row of books and swirls on either side of the mural. I stayed late the last night I was painting, and they stayed along with me until midnight to get it finished.