Page art class designs murals for school

Students in a Justice Page Middle School art class gather feedback on designs for murals that will hang outside the school. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

A Justice Page Middle School art class has designed a series of murals to hang outside of the school.

The murals feature images of students, symbols representing the community and pictures of the school’s namesake, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Vikings star Alan Page. Two will hang on the building along 49th Street and another two will hang along the building’s 50th Street facade.

Murals teacher Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl said the yearlong mural project gives students an opportunity to become better artists, make something for the school and collaborate with one another. She said the murals will show the pride around the school’s name.

Cedarleaf Dahl received a $10,000 grant from the Minneapolis Educator Leadership Awards for the project. She said she the Tangletown Neighborhood Association has agreed to use funds from the Rename Ramsey campaign for the project.

A mock-up of student-designed mural that will hang on Justice Page Middle School along 49th Street. Design courtesy Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl
A mock-up of student-designed murals that will hang on Justice Page Middle School along 49th Street. Design courtesy Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl

About 160 students will work to create the murals over the next three months, she said. Artist Greta McLain and GoodSpace Murals will help install the murals this summer.

Cedarleaf Dahl and her class gathered feedback on the mural designs during an information session with parents and community members on Feb. 7. Among those in attendance was Alan Page, whom Cedarleaf Dahl praised for his support of the school.

Page and his late wife, Diane, have been involved the last two years in mural projects, Cedarleaf Dahl said. She said she looks to Page for a “keen eye” on art, design and historical perspectives.

Students in Cedarleaf Dahl’s class said they’ve learned about working together and how murals can tell stories without words through the project. Eighth-grader Addy Frye said they’ve learned how it’s important to showcase the school to the outside community, and eighth-grader Zoe Lewandowski said they want to showcase how their school is a welcoming place.

“We welcome everyone into our community, and we just wanted people to know that,” seventh-grader Jama Ahmed said.

Parent Kate Quinlan-Laird, president of the school’s PTA, said she appreciates how much effort the kids put into the details on the murals. Other parents at the Feb. 7 session said they liked the murals’ vibrant colors and patterns and how they felt inclusive for a lot of people.

“It’s pretty, but it makes you think, too,” one parent said.

The mural as it will look along 50th Street. Design courtesy Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl
The mural as it will look along 50th Street. Design courtesy Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl
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