As the school year comes to a close, it is clear Avonworth has changed in many ways during our 180 days of time. One of the newest additions to the walls is the murals completed by Mrs. James’ Galleries Group.  As part of one of the projects, I am excited to share a bit about the process behind galleries and the product that has been created.

Since the start of the school year, our Galleries group has been working hard learning about the artist Swoon and her collaged street art. Inspired by her messages of social change and intricate symbolism, we determined we would create murals around doorways within the school. Kyra Carlson and I took on the topic of ‘Our Community”, and rendered our painting outside Mr. Tuffiash’s room, 308, also known as the pub lab where The Avonews is usually made.


After some brainstorming, I created a design showing staples of the larger Pittsburgh community. Kyra took on a magnifying glass we overlayed, highlighting our AHS community.

Artwork by Swoon, the artist we took inspiration from.

After that, it was time for us to start painting. Four hours and a lot of wheatpaste later, we were close to done.


Kyra put a lot of amazing work into the magnifying glass, and I highly suggest you stop by to look at the details. Since I completed the map, I’ll be discussing the choices I made while painting that segment. First of all, I wanted to show Pittsburgh in the most positive light I could. I wanted to represent key parts of the Pittsburgh experience, and make it something all people could relate to. I think many of us who have grown up in Pittsburgh can relate to the excitement of riding the incline and visiting the science center. Both are such iconic buildings in the Pittsburgh landscape.

Additionally, it was important to me that I added the Tree of Life synagogue. This synagogue has truly become a rallying point for our community around social justice. I also wanted to not only portray my experience but that of the diverse people who live in our area.

The rest of the mural showcases crucial parts of Pittsburgh’s history. Steel mills were a cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s industry and community. They have largely shaped the local culture and set-up of the city, even today. I also wanted to include bridges, since Pittsburgh is also well-known for it’s plentiful amount. In fact, we have more than any other city, totaling at 446.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a bit more about the artwork on our walls and the patchwork of our city. If you’re interested, make sure to stop by and see the mural in person! There are other murals located in Mrs. Chester’s room and Mr. Shoats, so make sure to look at those as well.

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