Holdeman El’s Husky Mural Project draws on art to inspire the future

The Husky Mural Project celebrates diversity and school spirit at Holdeman Elementary School in Tempe.

Creating art that tells an inspirational story for years to come was the challenge facing staff and parents at Holdeman Elementary School when they met for a summer brainstorming session.

The outcome was an effort they named The Husky Mural Project, designed to celebrate the diversity and school spirit on their campus.

The project began when a group of teachers visualized an opportunity for more art on the Holdeman campus. An art group was formed during the break, partly out of an aspiration to bring fine arts education to all students, partly to ensure that the diverse population of the community was acknowledged and honored.

The group began meeting and invited staff and community members to help develop the vision, ultimately deciding that adding a mural would become a welcome addition to the
campus.

“Placing a mural on our campus that depicts our diverse population, that will withstand the test of time, will help inspire pride in the Holdeman community,” said Holdeman Principal
Dr. Jeff Shores.

As the group came together to discuss ideas on how to bring art to Holdeman, they thought of the father-son duo Such and Champ Styles. Such and Champ are a part of the Holdeman community as resident studio artists and have taught different variations of art to the school’s fourth- and fifth-grade students for years.

Taking into consideration the suggestions from community and staff, Such and Champ sketched out an image with the theme of diversity in mind.

The Husky Mural Project at Holdeman Elementary.

The Art Group felt that the proposed image represented the diversity of the Holdeman community and incorporated unique artistic techniques, all while using the school mascot, the husky. For now, the group is working to get the funding needed to complete this project, and possible future projects.

They have a GoFundMe set up and are awaiting approval of their Vibrant City Arts Grant application, with hopes to complete the project during the 2020-2021 school year.

Art Group members are Rebecka Johnson, fifth-grade teacher; Julie Wood, third through fifth-grade resource teacher; Freda Rothermel, community member; Jill West, librarian; and Julie Bertoni, community member and former Holdeman speech language pathologist.

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