Milagro Middle School, ARTsmart & Meow Wolf Unveil New Learning Center Mural

Meow Wolf has always been an adamant supporter of young and emerging artists. A new mural from Milagro Middle School, ARTsmart and Meow Wolf in the David Loughridge Learning Center focus of this passion.
Feb 08, 2018

Meow Wolf has always been a passionate supporter of young and emerging artists. Though the exhibit has been closed for upgrades and renovations for two weeks, many talented creators have been hard at work on new and exciting things for the February 14th grand reopening. One of these fantastic artworks is a mural from Milagro Middle School, ARTsmart and Meow Wolf.

A Community Process

In the David Loughridge Learning Center, a super talented team of art students from Milagro Middle School have been brainstorming, painting and working together to realize a collaborative vision: painting a mural to share with the community and all who come through Meow Wolf Santa Fe.

Milagro Middle School partnered with ARTsmart Santa Fe, an arts-driven organization that enriches educational opportunities for students across Northern New Mexico. Portions of proceeds from ARTsmart’s amazing projects are used to support Santa Fe Public Schools’ art programs.

Students from Milagro Middle School work with Art Smart and Meow Wolf on a mural in the learning center

Two Great Art Resources, Helping Kids

Students from Milagro Middle School’s advanced art class worked closely with Meow Wolf artist Sahaih Escobedo and Project Coordinator Kendall McElhaney as well as teachers and artists from ARTsmart. Mariel Garcia, an instructor working with ARTsmart since 2014, said that they had a budget for a mural and after reaching out to Meow Wolf, things just fell right into place. “It made sense, since we are right up the road, to create something at Meow Wolf. Since the Siler district is building up, it’s perfect to be able to come into the space and share the our student talents with all our community!”

The ‘Meow Wolf’ Method

For many of the students, this is easily the largest piece of work they’ve ever done. To create a mural this size in the spirit of collaboration is a major feat. To start generating ideas, the students used what is now known as the “Meow Wolf Method.” They brainstormed words they felt inspired by, wrote them down, put them into a box, and then drew them out two at a time. These words were then grouped together.

This created words like forest-galaxy and liger, a lion combined with tiger. From those fantastical word combinations, the students started to envision a piece of art. From there you can imagine things got strange and beautifully crazy.

Mixing up the colors for a new mural in the learning center

“We had the students draw out all of the imagery, details and color schemes,” said Mariel Garcia gesturing towards the colorful wall. “Then we put together a color palate and Sahaih and I started prepping the base of the wall. We took a projector and traced all of their images in chalk so the students would be able to come in and have their designated spaces to work and an idea of how it would look on the wall!”

The students worked in the learning center for two days, painting, creating and putting the finishing touches on the beautiful piece. A grand unveiling of the mural will happen the evening of February 14 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in the Learning Center at Meow Wolf. We encourage everyone to stop for the event or as soon as you can to enjoy the stunning work each and every student put into this very special project.

Until then, check out this video!

Special thanks to our artists Arlene Hopkins, Sherlyn Khalsa, Desirae Lujan, Raven Mackey, Daphne Mentor, Maria Rivas, Anissa Romero, Adela Salas, Opal Trece, art teacher Grace Mayer and ARTsmart instructor Mariel Garcia.

All photos and video by Kate Russell.