Murals - Connecting With Others

 

Connecting with others - students, school staff, family members and the community-through art. That was one of the main goals for the "Murals Make Connections" project at Phoenix Learning Center (PLC) that was made possible through funding from a Central Minnesota Arts Board grant. Students at PLC (the district's alternative high school program) collaborated on a mural that would best depict their school. Artist-in-residence Shane Anderson worked with the students to create the student mural on an oversized canvas. Once the mural was drawn, PLC students painted it along with family and community members. Throughout the process, Anderson encouraged everyone to express their own creativity while also teaching them new and exciting painting techniques. The project gave students confidence, a sense of ownership in the piece and pride in their school while creating social connections with each other, their families and the community.  

Anderson is based out of Lakeville, Minnesota and has worked in the state for over 10 years. In elementary school, he was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and found the only way he could focus on school was by doodling cartoons. Anderson was commissioned for the project because the PLC students considered his art style colorful, bold, exciting with lots of visual expression, young, fresh and hip. He has been commissioned by many large corporations including the Mall of America, Calhoun Square and several banks and hospitals. Anderson has worked with schools and children all over the country and world including Chiang Mai, Thailand and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.  He considers himself to be a "professional doodler and inspirer" who hopes to continue to travel the world and inspire children through art.

The mural was unveiled in a public ceremony on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at the Wright County Historical Society (WCHS) where the mural is currently on display through early June. WCHS is open Monday, Wednesday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sunday. The mural's final home will be in the entrance at PLC.