Mural to help Portland middle school celebrate its message

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PORTLAND — “Moore Together” is the new theme underlying how all students and staff are expected to act toward each other at Lyman Moore Middle School.

The goal is to continually highlight the idea that people can accomplish wonderful things by working together.

“We believe that our school is a collection of unique (people) who each bring with them many gifts, skills, interests and passions,” said Principal Benjamin Donaldson. “(But), when we are able to figure out how to work together … we find the best solutions.”

“Individually we can do great things, but together we can do so much more. Thus the theme and goal to be ‘Moore Together,'” he added.

To celebrate this concept, eighth-graders at the school are working with artist Ryan Adams to create a large mural in the main entryway that features the words “Moore Together” along with subtle images of clasped hands and a compass rose.

At a school assembly on Oct. 26, students were introduced to Adams and to the mural that will adorn their school. “This mural is a physical reminder of the theme in a colorful, geometric pattern that resonates with our students,” Donaldson said.

The mural is a representation of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s poem, “I am offering you this poem,” which Deering High Student and Maine Poetry Out Loud contest winner Allan Monga read during the assembly.

Adams’ love of public art began at age 10, when he received a copy of the book “Subway Art.” Using his knowledge of color theory and lettering acquired through his exploration of graffiti art, Adams has been painting murals professionally for over a decade now.

“This project really captivated me,” Adams said. “To be able to create a piece of colorful work that will become a part of the students’ everyday environment is a great honor.”

In addition, Donaldson said that Adams was born and raised in Portland, “so he was interested in connecting back to the Portland Public Schools and sharing his process with (our) students.”

Creation of the mural at Lyman Moore is being supported by the Maine Humanities Council, Artist & Craftsman Supply, Rosemont Market, and Longfellow Books. In all, the mural will be 12 feet tall and 20 feet long.

The completed mural will be unveiled to the public at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. The opening reception will also include light refreshments and a chance to speak with Adams and the students who completed his work.

Making the “Moore Together” theme tangible with a bright, engaging mural is important, according to Donaldson, because “it will serve as a reminder of our commitment to working together and to having a positive impact on our community.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Last week students at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland got a look at what their new school mural, portraying the theme of “Moore Together,” will look like when finished.

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