Bruce Lee has left his mark on the Nehemiah Center.
A quote of his lines the top of a mural that now spans the Nehemiah Center’s outside wall. The colorful artwork only enhances the already energetic environment of the Nehemiah Center, a facility in the Museum District that provides programs such as Middle School and College Preparation.
Originally designed for the sophomore class project, March 23, the mural was not finished until late April. It called for volunteer groups to return several times afterward to finish unfinished patches and further adorn the wall with animals and flowers.
“Painting the mural was hard because we had to fix so many things so many times, but in the end it was definitely worth being able to see the end result,” sophomore Rebecca Reza said.
The mural was not only painted by but also designed by students. The design team consisted of sophomores Kate Bomar, Tiffany Yue, Raina Zhang, Akshay Jaggi and Stephen Wang, who had just finished a mural assignment for 2D Art.
With suggestions from Upper School Community Service Coordinator Marci Bahr, the team began the design process in early February.
The mural features children sitting in a brightly colored train that runs along the length of the wall, along with Bruce Lee’s inspirational quote: “Ever since I was a child, I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
While the main idea was predetermined, volunteers had free rein when adding decor, so details range from chevron-striped wheels to puffy-cheeked squirrels to life-size inchworms.
This newest installment is only one of several contributions SJS volunteers have made at the Nehemiah Center; the mural compliments a student-painted mini barnhouse, and a flower garden sits nearby in a field that students helped clear.
“I really enjoyed how the project allowed us to serve the community while expressing ourselves artistically,” sophomore Ben Bieser said. “The wall looks great, and hopefully it will inspire creativity in the kids at the Nehemiah Center.”