This isn’t the first Publicolor project at M.S. 244, an arts-driven public school. “The kids took ownership of the building,” said the school’s principal Eduardo Mora, pointing to a previous partnership with the nonprofit that saw students painting the hallway doors in bright colors. “This is amazing,” he said, enthused about the reality of Herrera’s work permanently appearing on a wall just outside the school’s auditorium.
Herrera, too, embraced the project. “It is a joy for me that my work will be in a public school and even more so that it will be actually painted by the students,” the artist told
the New York Times
in a statement.
The nuts and bolts of the project are being overseen by Publicolor’s Natasha Seng, who trained as an industrial designer. The wall at M.S. 244 slated for the mural is corrugated—a challenge due to Herrera’s geometric compositions, which plays with optical illusion. So, to ensure that the mural would appear true to the original, students painted onto MDM Board, which was measured and cut to fit the size of the wall. “It’s a little tricky,” Seng admitted.
On Saturday, the students practiced painting Herrera’s work on pieces of paper before turning to the massive slabs of MDM Board. The first step focused on painting the white background. Next weekend, the students will gather again to paint the geometric black design over the white surface. Then, the boards will be mounted for parents, teachers, and students of M.S. 244 to see.