Visual Arts Department
Class of 2024 | Studio Exploration 2D 

NMSA’s Visual Arts Department curriculum teaches collaboration throughout the four-year program noting it as a crucial learned skill in the 21st century. In 10th grade Studio Exploration 2D the class of 2024 spent much of the Fall 2021 semester co-creating two large-scale interior murals that both reflect and inspire NMSA’s creative learning community and core values. By engaging one another and the community in group dialog, surveys, and design feedback sessions, students meshed aspects of multiple proposals and suggestions into two vibrant representations of the power of creativity in one and a fantastical environment conducive to inspired learning in the other. We hope you enjoy this page, which features some of the brainstorming and creating these students invested themselves in over the three months. (Photos of the installed murals are forthcoming later this semester)

The Work In Progress

digital mural designs:
above 32′ x 8′ & below 24′ x 8′
(acrylic on masonite)

painting the panels
(click on any image to enlarge)

Mural Proposal Sketches
(click on any image to enlarge)


Visualizing NMSA’s Core Values

Our group’s challenge was to reflect the creative community at NMSA through the mural’s intentional visual communication.  With this mural we wanted to witness the creative courage and diversity present in our school and to inspire new community members.  We are a creative community that intentionally engages in critical and creative thought to impact ourselves and the world in beneficial ways.  To lay the groundwork for this design process we began by developing several solo and collaborative visualizations of the NMSA’s shared core values:  Passion, Opportunity, Gratitude, True Diversity, Belonging, and Growth Mindset.

Brainstorming + Collaborating + Revising
(click on any image to enlarge)

Preparing panels + Enlarging Grid Drawing
(click on any image to enlarge)

Research +
Community Involvement

New Mexico has a vibrant history in and present practice of using murals to reflect and inspire community.  In this project we analyzed and evaluated a New Mexico mural/ist and interpreted what impact that mural’s expression has had on the community.  To create our own mural, we hoped to learn from past successes and perhaps mistakes too.  Several guest artists shared about their approach to creating engaged community murals (Aaryon Williams, Felix Gelvin, Joerael Numina), we visited local murals and analyzed how they function in space, and we presented our proposal designs to students and staff at NMSA for suggestions, revisions, and review.  Additionally, students co-created an NMSA survey to gather community input and reviewed and responed to the input.  We also hosted a community mural painting day one Saturday in November.  Overall, these students gained and strengthened many pre-professional collaboration skills in working together and also acquired methods in how to engage the community in art projects.

For questions, please contact:
Karina Hean, Visual Arts Chair 505-372-8432