New Mural at South High Shows Images of Occupy Movement
There is a new 1,700-square-foot mural at South High School in Minneapolis telling the story of American democracy through the eyes of Minnesota teenagers.
In months of design and paint work, the South High students who worked on the project decided to include references to the Occupy Movement.
There is a line of homes and an image of Wall Street painted on the mural which is in a stairwell leading up from the common area at the school. Brother Ali, a local rap artist who was arrested in June for trespassing during an Occupy Homes protest, is also pictured on the mural. His hand is open, shining what the students call "hope" over the homes on the mural.
"We have seen him in his song lyrics; he's really involved in what's going on today," said South High Junior Lamia Abukhadra.
"Everybody has their own way to contribute. It doesn't make sense for everybody to get arrested. But some people are arrested and persecuted without trying to do that," Brother Ali said during the unveiling Wednesday night.
"He got arrested for a good cause," Abukhadra said.
"Because he was trying to help, he got in trouble," said South High Junior Shana Crawford.
Starting in April, the students sat down with their Visual Arts teacher, Denny Sponsler, and muralists, Gustavo Lira, Greta McLain and Shannon McEvoy to discuss the content and design.
"We weren't trying to be overtly political but I also really didn't believe that it would be good at all to stifle where this kind of exploration would go," Sponsler said.
"It's really not about politics for us here. It's about school and how to live life," said South High Principal Cecilia Saddler.
Funding for the mural came from a $10,000 anonymous donation.