Monday, November 15, 2021

Far beyond simple beautification, artist-community collaborative murals can strengthen communities because the process brings people together and projects their collective voice. When neighborhoods, art centers, schools, and other communities collaborate with designers/artists, they brainstorm design ideas and paint impressive and impactful murals that are filled with relevant messages of hope filled with color—together.

Many people are intimidated to help paint a mural so I use a design system that is essentially a giant complex coloring book that 80% or more requires no special artistic technique or skill to paint it. […] I haven’t yet found a comprehensive how-to guide for collaborative community murals that included issues, successes and solutions that I experienced, so I have started writing a guide called Artist-Community Collaborative Murals and that content will also be online for free. The guide will include curriculum so other schools could do similar projects in their own cities.


Bethany “Betni” Kalk is an artist, designer, muralist and Assistant Professor of Design at Creighton University. When not teaching, she explores the natural landscapes of other countries and visits different regions of the U.S. to and from artist residencies. Betni has been doing murals since 2005in addition to exhibiting paintings. She has received numerous grants and residencies around the U.S. including Sitka Center, San Juan National Forest, the Anderson Center.