Orlando students paint mural to show importance of inclusion

Project originally started in fall of 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. – Timber Springs middle school students and staff can now enjoy a beautiful new mural, designed and painted by the school’s National Junior Art Honor Society.

The project originally began in the fall of 2019, however, its completion was delayed until the end of this summer break because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Art teacher Maribel Lopez approached the students about the mural idea and they could not wait to start painting.

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“They were seventh and eighth graders looking at this big empty wall,” Lopez said.

The mural features 11 silhouettes depicting student life, with the message of inclusion.

“I feel like a lot of times in the community a lot of social groups are underrepresented, so if we can do our part to bring it all together I think that would be really good for the school, for the community, for everyone in the community,” student Karen Rojas said.

Student Karina Ferreria said the design of the mural is about more than just paint.

“On the mural for the background we have a bunch of different colors and I think it shows right that if we just had one color, it would be very simple, plain. It wouldn’t be as exciting to look at. So having all of these different colors is what makes this a community. Everyone is different and coming together to make this school,” she said.

Because of the delay, several of the students who began the project are now in high school. However, after the school began allowing visitors in spring 2021, those students were able to work on the mural as highs school volunteers. They also recruited volunteers from Timber Creek High School and East River High School. A total of 16 students worked on the finished product.

“It was beautiful for all of us to get together and for the community to get involved,” Rojas said.

Lopez said the students’ grit to finish the mural during challenging times sets a great example not only for each other but for other students and staff. She said the NJAHS is already planning additional murals to beautify the campus.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.