09:14 AM

Young artists have a blast creating spaceflight mural in Bayou Building

By Katherine Adams

space mural

Public art has a unique, multi-faceted function in the community. Unlike exhibitions in famous galleries, public art is free, you can come as you are, it boosts the aesthetics of any location, and it's open to anyone who happens to pass by.

University of Houston-Clear Lake campus boasts several pieces of public art, with the newest mural created last week by 15 young artists from area high schools participating in the Art School for Children's summer program.

Hope Gereghty, an art educator at Waco High School, collaborated with Director of the Art School for Children David Moya to lead the group of 7th-9th graders through the process of creating a mural.

She said he gave her some concepts, and she ultimately sent him a mock up of the mural.

"Dr. Moya wanted to do a mural with a spaceflight theme due to the campus's proximity to NASA, with an added Hispanic flair," Gereghty said. "I had Latin-patterned stencils ready to go, and we've made sure the culture is well represented."

Moya said he hoped the students would have a lifelong learning experience about the impact of art as they created the mural.

"A project like the mural allows students to work in a collaborative way atypical from the siloed work in a traditional classroom. The students experienced overwhelmingly positive feedback during the process as spectators commented throughout the week," he said.

The cosmic craft illuminates the hall near the Patio Cafe just inside the entrance to the Bayou Building. "Students have said they have enjoyed the experience because it reconnects them to the artwork of their early childhood," Gereghty said. "Having a mural brings it back to having a mark on the wall that says,'I was here!' That resonates with people of any age."

The project started on June 20 and was completed within four days. "Creating art publicly was new to some students," she said. "Kids received encouragement from passers-by and learned to respond to people who are sharing a piece of art in a big, public space after two years of being inside. It was a great experience for them."

Learn more about the Art School for Children online.