Post by: Ivy (story), Maddie O-F (photo) and Beatrice (editor)
When we came back to school for the start of this year, we walked in to a beautiful surprise. Across the wall in the girls bathroom was a colorful mural painted on the once bare, beige toned wall.
This mural was painted by Maya Greer, a former student of CMS. Through an interview she told us that she came up with the idea for it when she was casually sketching. She said, “I didn’t originally plan to do it for the mural until I showed some people and got their feedback. As they talked about what they felt the drawing could represent, women’s strength, imagination, etc, I thought that this was an image that would fit well at CMS.” She also told us that she hopes the painting “represents the strength and community of different girls.” The image that she painted fits right into the atmosphere at CMS, and is a beautiful way of spreading the inspiring message of women’s strength, imagination, and creativity, across the students, and throughout the school.
Being a former student, we asked Maya if she thought that her experience at CMS influenced how she designed the mural, and she told us that it had. “Even though my CMS was in a different building, this process brought up a lot of memories for me of my time in middle school. It definitely made me feel more connected to the project, and I tried my best to make my school and my old teachers proud,” she said. She has made us all proud, proud of our school, proud of who we are, and proud to be a part of this growing community of young women. As she puts it, “I hope it makes the bathroom less grimy and brightens things up. But even if it doesn’t have some huge life-changing effect on the community, I still think it’s nice to be in places full of art.” Maybe the effect doesn’t have a long term, life changing influence on the school, but it does definitely add the perfect splash of color to the wall, and is uplifting to all who see it.
When we asked her about the painting process, she said, “...it was very stressful and at some points I wasn’t even sure if I would get it done successfully. For one thing, I would get frustrated a lot while painting because things never go exactly as you planned, but I couldn’t just quit every time I got upset. So there were lots of times I had to figure out how to push through even when I wasn’t pleased. Another thing I had trouble with was doing the colors. There are a bunch of parts of the picture that got painted over two or three times because I could never be satisfied. I can be kind of a perfectionist so that was probably the hardest thing about this project. Knowing that not everything is going to be perfect and you have to learn to be satisfied with the big picture anyways.” The “big picture” as Maya put it, looks wonderful.
“I was already inspired by the idea of many different types of women coming together for CMS and the drawing I had seemed to fit that feeling,” she said. What she painted is a tribute to CMS that can be viewed and treasured for years to come.