When Dominic Graham, the digital media and technology (DMT) instructor at McComb Business and Technology Complex, walked into his classroom last fall the blank walls stood out.
“It reminded me of an asylum. As the class atmosphere grew and develop, it seemed imperative that the room did as well,” said Graham. “The original plan was just to paint the walls a solid color.”
The students and instructor brainstormed ideas of how to liven up the classroom and what color to paint, but hit a road block because of a district policy that classrooms must be painted districts approved colors. After reviewing the policies further, they discovered a mural could be painted on the wall with the approval of the superintendent. With this in mind, Graham recruited support from friends and artists to help students design the mural. After approval, they bought supplies and the class began painting with the help of the academic art classes. To complete the upper portion of the mural, construction technology students built scaffolds for painting.
“As the painting continued with the original design, students asked about adding or creating something new on the wall,” noted Graham. “I said ‘yes’ and was blown away by the artist freedoms the students took. The mural just came to life before our eyes.”
As part of their classwork once the mural was complete, students took a series of photos of the mural and combined them in a panorama shot using the software that they learn in their DMT class.
After the project was finished, the class held a ribbon cutting and open house for teachers, school board, community leaders, industry specialist, and press.
“This project has been a great for our recruitment and has increased the interest of nontraditional students in DMT,” Graham said.