Despite the soaring temperatures, an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside HISD’s Blackshear Elementary School on Wednesday for the unveiling of a new campus mural that celebrates the school’s recent academic achievements and improvement in literacy.
“We now have the best mural in the city of Houston – the most beautiful mural in the city of Houston,” Blackshear Principal Alicia Gobert Lewis said. “At Blackshear, we want to make sure that everywhere children look they see something beautiful.”
The mural, which as the brainchild of Lewis, was designed and painted by Houston-based artist Reginald Adams. His art installations can be seen in historic and underserved communities across the U.S. The theme of the mural is Break Every Chain, and it is brimming with literary elements, colorful books, and powerful images of children reading.
“It represents the power of literacy for children, for families and communities,” Lewis said. “It represents how literacy can take you beyond school and into a career.”
Spanning the length of an entire building, the project is also a tribute to the Third Ward community where Blackshear is located. Yates High School Principal Tiffany Guillory, who was in attendance to show support for the fellow Third Ward campus, was proud of the school’s achievement.
“I am so happy to be here to support Blackshear,” she said. “It is one of the diamonds of our community.”
Funded through Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood LIFT program, the mural depicts the community’s supportive role of the campus. Additionally, the artist placed reminders of the historic Houston neighborhood, including Texas Southern University’s KTRU call sign and the Jack Yates High School logo.
“Some of the items on the wall can only be found here in the Third Ward – the Shape Community Center, Emancipation Avenue,” Lewis said. “I want them to proud of Third Ward, proud of where they come from and where we are because this is a wonderful community.”