Student Artists Paint Mural at Westridge Middle School

Student Artists Paint Mural at Westridge Middle School
Shawnee Mission School District

Student artists at Westridge Middle School showcased their Wildcat pride by painting a mural in the front hallway of the school. 

The opportunity to paint a mural came from a partnership between Westridge Middle School and InterUrban ArtHouse. Westridge art teacher, Amy Traylor, sponsored a “pop-up” mural club and was excited for students to have the chance to work with professional muralists. 

“These artists are painting murals all over Kansas City and other parts of the world, expressed Traylor. “They’re teaching the students real techniques, like how to use a doodle-grid, how to color match, and how to work on a much larger surface than usual.”

Seventh-grader Tinuviel Harshbarger explained that she enjoyed meeting the artists and learning new techniques, especially the doodle-grid. She shared the purpose of the doodle-grid technique is to map out where different parts of the finished mural will go. 

“It looked random, but it helped us see how everything would fit together,” said Harshbarger. “It was really fun.”

Traylor explained the mural artists have also taught students skills beyond painting. “They’re teaching them how to go out and do jobs like this in the real world, and that being an artist can go beyond working on a small piece of paper or canvas,” she said. 

Zoe Lewis, seventh grader, joined the mural club because it sounded fun and she wanted to leave her mark on the school. In addition to making new friends and improving her painting skills, Lewis shared that participating in the club has given her a sense of pride. 

“I feel proud that I’m actually doing something for the school,” expressed Lewis. “It’s exciting the teachers will let us do this.”