Bogan Elementary Art Club Creates a Whimsical Mural

The mural painted by the Bogan Elementary Art Club is 15 by 7.5 feet long. Photo courtesy of Amber Krimmer

The mural painted by the Bogan Elementary Art Club is 15 by 7.5 feet long. Photo courtesy of Amber Krimmer

By Caroline Roethlisberger

Bogan Elementary School Art club students transformed a plain white cinderblock wall in their school into a vibrant 15 by 7.5-foot mural inspired by Walt Disney artist Mary Blair to bring a little more color to their hallway.

Blair helped create “It’s a Small World”—the Disney World amusement ride that takes riders in a boat through a world of different cultures to the tune of the song from Alice in Wonderland. Blair is also known for her work on other Disney movies such as Cinderella, Peter Pan and Dumbo.

The mural is an “abstract and minimalistic version of the ride,” said Bogan Elementary art teacher Amber Krimmer. It is supposed to evoke features of different cultures, she said.

It also reflects “the variety of colors in [Blair’s] artwork,” said Perry Tatlow, assistant teacher and Miami University student.

Krimmer and Tatlow designed the mural using Adobe Illustrator and outlined it onto the wall. Then, the students filled in the mural in a “paint-by-numbers” method.

“We designed it, but the students were the masterminds,” Krimmer said.

The art club students spent about four hours during two afternoons after school painting the cinderblock wall. They completed the project during the second week in March.

The club consists of 16 outstanding fourth and fifth grade art students who have “a good ‘artitude,’ work ethic, and they must have received a high grade in art class,” Krimmer said. “They’re the best of the best.”

Tatlow believes that the mural allowed students to work together and “practice their craftsmanship because of all the sharp lines and details,” she said.

Krimmer thinks that their use of the color wheel will inspire discussion about color theory.

This concept considers the idea of analogous and complementary colors based off the three primary colors—red, yellow, and blue—and can display secondary and tertiary colors.

Krimmer hopes that it “will make the building brighter and more exciting,” she said.

Tatlow said that the project will have a greater impact on those who see it because it was created by students. “It was helpful that they were able to put their hands in it,” Tatlow said.

This is Krimmer’s third year at Bogan Elementary. She created the art club during her first year, and her goal for this year is to create a permanent installation at the school.  

Krimmer’s art curriculum includes projects like self-portraits, clay snails, papier mache snowmen and printmaking. Her projects focus on color and lines, shapes, symmetry and repetition, and color movement and allow students to experiment with various textures and materials like oil pastels, watercolors, tissue paper, paint, clay, and more.

Krimmer wants to inspire the artist inside each student. “All it takes is a little paint on the wall,” she said.

In the future, Krimmer has an idea for a family art night where students and their family can create art also inspired by Blair. There is no set plan yet, but “it’s in my brain,” she said.