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HAS Students Create Nonviolence Mural
Sergio Barrera and Joshua Parent, who led the team of students participating in the mural project, hold up their design in front of the finished mural.
A group of Hartford Art School students, working in collaboration with community leaders, created public art with a message this past weekend, when they painted a mural on the wall of an Albany Avenue church promoting the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The students, who are visual communication design majors taking Assistant Professor Natacha Poggio's Design Global Change (DGC) class, painted the mural on the wall of the North End Church of Christ, 687 Albany Ave., on the weekend of Nov. 20 and 21. The mural promotes Dr. King's Principles of Nonviolence, with a special focus on Principle # 2: "The Beloved Community is the Framework for the Future."
The project is a collaboration with Victoria Christgau, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, and Pastor James Lane from the North End Church of Christ. In addition, the students met with local educators, business owners, Hartford Police, Peace-Builders, Men of Color Initiative, Fatherhood Initiative, and certified Kingian Nonviolence trainers.
Sergio Barrera and Joshua Parent led the team of students participating in the mural-making. The student team also included Ethan Bodnar, Crystal Cote, Jonathan Eckels, Marene Ferguson, Laura Kovac, Nikki Lee, Cael Spillane, and Mullica Zudsiri.
Students had the satisfaction of creating a project from start to finish utilizing a participatory design process involving service-learning and community stakeholders.
The design for the mural includes a 10-foot portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., together with his quote "The Beloved Community is the Framework for the Future." The mural contains symbols of peace and hope, combined with scenes from the city of Harford.
“We need something beautiful for our children to see, something to bring them hope. This is a great example of that,” Pastor Lane said.
The mural will remain a vital part of the North End community representing a shared vision of promoting peace and justice throughout the city. Everyone involved in the project hopes that it will lead to other mural and art installation projects that will beautify the North End community.
To find out more about Design Global Change projects, please visit www.designglobalchange.org.