After months of work - planning, writing, constructing, selecting - on our project, it went up in a flash. We didn’t expect the installation to begin until Monday, but our sign installer, Ed, was eager and ready. Over the weekend, 3 sites were installed. Before I was even able to see the project, one of our students and her family were already at her banner, posting on Instagram. She was beaming with pride, so were they. She and her mother took a picture in front of the banner, imitating the pose from her baby picture. Seeing these images, even before seeing the banners myself, reinforced why this work is so important.
Over the next several days, we saw more and more sites go up. Now, only 2 remain to be installed. At one of our sites, Josh and I watched as Ed installed Zach, Benny, and Lewis’ set on Nunzio’s barber shop. He installed with precision and speed - marking the wall, drilling the holes, screwing the banner into the wall. Within 40 minutes, Zach’s face appeared on the wall. And after 2 hours, all 3 banners were installed.
Throughout the week, more and more students saw themselves on the walls. Pictures flowed in: students standing in front of the wall, prouder than ever, pointing to themselves on the wall. Some with friends, others with family. One student was looking at her picture, and had a conversation with a passerby who eventually asked, “Wait, is that you?!” Students and staff spoke excitedly about seeing the banners. Posts appeared on the Instagram hashtag, excited about “Girl power street art”.
As we complete the installation, we look forward to providing opportunities for as many people as possible to engage with the work of our students. We’re working on organizing events and student-led tours. Stay tuned!
- Mr. McGeehan