Mural links art, culture, community

Islander Middle School seventh-grade Spanish students have finished a two-month project resulting in four large original murals for the school with famous Artist-in-Residence and muralist, Jos/ Orantes.

The artist shared his extensive training and experience as a professional and also introduced his cultural background with the students. Spanish teacher, Roy Newton (“Don Carlos” to his students), believes that the art of murals has a strong connection to Spanish and Latin American culture which is part of the 7th grade curriculum. This project allowed students the opportunity to appreciate the art of master artists such as Diego Rivera, Jos/ Clemente Orozco, and Picasso, and work directly with an internationally recognized Hispanic artist.

Each of the four Spanish classes completed a 4x12 inch mural in three panels. The Spanish students selected a theme, brainstormed ideas, created sketches, drew and painted the murals. This program enabled students to learn and apply new art skills while working side-by-side with Orantes who guided the project with individualized drawing lessons, color theory and artistic vision.

The murals will soon be hanging in the IMS cafeteria.

Jos/ Orantes was born in El Salvador and received his formal training at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas de Guatemala. He has been a Seattle artist for 30 years, creating murals since 1985. His artistic style, “Urban Na

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