Beginning the semester we dove into research about the history of murals around the world and other forms of street art which impacted and were impacted by muralists. Included in our studies were famous artists like Diego Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, etc. as well as lesser known, more modern artists like Os Gemos from Brazil and MearOne from Los Angeles. Through this research we developed a repertoire of techniques, palettes and content which have historically been successful.
Paired with studying the past we researched many aspects of the community which we are producing the mural for. With the invaluable help of the AMP Council (the Teen Leadership group which is helping to design the teen center) we were able to get input from high school students through surveys as well as learning what is important to the YMCA Teen Center’s mission. Several things immediately came up, including contemporary music artists like the Blue Scholars, East Bay lifestyle themes, education, environmental awareness, community and diversity.
Taking these into account we delved into finding how all of these components exist in the Bay Area and how we could represent that in a mural. We found that some elements were easy to include, but really digging into how to properly represent diversity and community was a challenging process. We eventually settled on several methods like silhouette to really give a sense of inclusion to the mural. But in order to include everyone, we also needed to call on the Earth Island Institute (True Colors Mural Project’s sponsor) to get their input. Also concerned with environmental awareness, this became a prominent subject in our design.
Research continued throughout the whole design process and continues as we finish the design for the mural. For more on the next stage of our process, see Stage 2: Individual Concepts.