New Mural Project


HYATTSVILLE — This week, three new murals were added to the Jefferson Street Wall of Hyattsville Elementary School (HES). (See Photos Here.) Fifth grade students collaborated with muralist Melissa Glasser to create the panels with an insect theme this year.

Glasser said that she was thrilled to join the project because it combines public art, science, issues around our environment and animals and working with children in the community.  “I hope that those who pass by the murals will be excited about the insects and perhaps inspired by their natural beauty.  Hopefully this will lead to conversations with children and adults that increase awareness, responsibility and ethics around our relationship to our shared environment.”

HES Art Teacher Sarah Yazvac said the fifth graders created their own compositions based on what they thought would look the best within the three mural spaces. “Then, we divided into groups and the kids each took the best elements of their own compositions and pieced together a new one,” she said.

The resulting collages were sent to Glasser to create original compositions. “When I received the drawings from the fifth graders from HES, I was struck by how great they were,” Glasser said.  “Many were quite accurate in terms of proportion and rendering, others were more playful and stylized interpretations.  Some utilized bold color and line while others were lose and gestural.”

The goal was to create three panels, each one around a different fifth grade class.  Glasser said she spread out the artwork from each class in front of each panel and looked for common themes, playfulness, exciting color or expressive line work.

“I took photographs of details of their designs so I could reference them more closely and using an image projector, I was able to translate the outlines of their works directly onto the panels,” she said.  “Each panel includes several of the students’ works as well as my interpretation of sourced images of insects.”

Glasser said it was her intention to create a flow between the panels, especially since so many flying insects were represented.  “I did this by using common colors, orienting the forms in varying directions, letting them overlap in some places, be separate in others and in a few places, extend off the picture plane,” she said.  “I hoped to achieve a composition with movement and interplay of forms.”

The muralist said she also intentionally included a honeybee and monarch butterfly in her selection as to increase awareness about the crisis both of these species face.