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Artwork Brightens Barren Brooks Wall

Student mural at Brooks Middle School becomes building's first permanent artwork.

Correction: Two students identified as Brooks seventh graders are actually in sixth grade. The updated story reflects the change. 

Some of the older schools in have decorative walls with colorful murals and glazed ceramic wall tiles. 

has lacked anything comparable since it opened nine years ago.

That’s changed thanks to the work of the school's art teacher and students, who have joined forces to create a mosaic on one of the school's otherwise barren white walls.

“We feel like this is a big deal for our school because it’s our first permanent artwork,” said Kristiana Murray, the art teacher who lead the afterschool effort to put the mosaic together.

The first half of the mural was completed last year, but the final half was just unveiled on Feb. 7.

“We didn’t have a plan of exactly how we wanted it to look, but we had a concept,” said Murray.

That concept was to promote a healthy planet. About 30 students first came up with sketches on that idea, and many were then incorporated into the overall design.

Putting it onto tile required donations from groups such as the Aria Group Architects in Oak Park, as well as from some parents and teachers.

The first half of the mural on the left shows a bicycle, kicking up a dust of natural beauty behind it. The bike path then opens up in the second half, showing a fork in the road.

One is a pleasant neighborhood with animals and a tree; the other option shows grey skies, pavement and a more urban skyline.

“It’s beautiful,” gushed Veronica Thomas at the unveiling, one of the sixth-grade students who helped put it together.

“I think it looks really colorful,” added Ovya Ganesan, another sixth grader at the school.

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