Kids use creativity to build 'Historic Waukesha' mural at Carroll University

Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 23:28:19-04

A beautiful, new mural now hangs at Carroll University titled "Historic Waukesha" highlights people's favorite places.  

The mural took months to create and was a first of its kind joint effort between Sharp Literacy, Waukesha schools, and Carroll University.

150 second and third graders from Banting, Whittier, and Summit View, along with La Casa de Esperanza, let their creativity flow.  It was a big day for these eight and nine-year-olds. They visited Carroll for part of their day to see the unveiling of their pieces of art, up on the wall at the Campus Center.  

Getting to this point, actually started two months ago, back in January.  We followed along as students at Summit View started working with chunks of clay, with Milwaukee artist, Sally Duback.  She helped the students roll out their clay, get the air bubbles out, and then create pieces that would eventually make up the big mural.  

Duback told the kids the mural would be "very, very  sparkly and dazzling."

Third grader, Anderson Ung knew exactly what the project was all about, and said, "we're going to make a mural with clay and so some shapes."

Third grader, Samara Haag says she "got a little stuck up when doing my shapes, so I looked around the room for inspiration." She found plenty of inspiration to pick from with all the different shapes other students were making.

One week later, it was time for the students to glaze their creations. Third grader, Jake Begotka said the clay pieces were "kind of a mud color before and now when you glaze it, it's white and I found that kind of cool."

Samara says she's really excited about the glazing because she had "never done anything like this before." And that's the kind of excitement Sharp Literacy tries to bring into the classroom. Sharp Literacy President and CEO, Lynda Kohler, says she thinks the mural project "inspires" the kids and "makes them feel empowered, engaged in the community."

When the kids finally get to see the finished product, Anderson said, "I think it's awesome!"

And if you look at the mural closely, you can see the students' clay artwork, along with pieces of costume jewelry, compact discs, and beads. You might also recognize landmarks such as the Les Paul Performance Center. 

Jake said what he loves most about the mural is the blue sky, but Samara couldn't decide. Samara said she learned more than art while doing the project.

She says she would tell people that "working together, then we can make something amazing."