Bozeman, MT Community Mural Project, Part of Project MArt (More Art).

This mural was: Multi-generational, collaborative, educational

Site planned for mural, January 2012.

Site of 2009 Natural Gas Explosion, Site of 2012 Community Mural.
2012 mural.jpgSite of 2009 Natural Gas Explosion, Site of 2012 Community Mural, May 2012

Completed Mural, May 2012

Completed Downtown Bozeman Community Mural, May 2012
Mural 004 Stitch.small.jpgCompleted Downtown Bozeman Community Mural, May 2012

Design Plan

Objective: Art tells our story; community art gives individuals roots to their home, a sense of place, pride, and ownership.  Murals tell a story publically on walls for all to see.  On March 5, 2009 an explosion turned the center and heart of our city to rubble.  One person lost her life and many more lost a large part of their livelihood.   For all of us, it changed our home; Bozeman was transformed forever.  This project will collaborate with students at Bozeman’s downtown school, Hawthorne Elementary, to transform March 5th from a painful memory to a beautiful artwork.  The mural will be designed and painted indoors and then attached to the current plywood wall until the area is restored.  When this area is rebuilt, the mural will be re-installed at a different location.    Theme: “Bozeman, our community.”

Timeline for Design Plan

 Method and timeline: 6 months

1.       A call for artwork will be sent to Bozeman’s downtown school, Hawthorne Elementary in January 2012.

2.       Teachers will be sent a lesson plan with examples of the project in January.  If classrooms choose to participate, student work will be completed within classrooms during the month of February.  Artists in residence will be available for consult and lesson execution if necessary.  Artists will collect finished lessons from students by the end of February. 

3.       Artists will begin the process of planning and editing student ideas into a cohesive mural in April.

4.       In April, students and teachers will be invited to paint the mural at the Wilson School.  Teachers can sign up to walk over during the school day during the week of April16th-20th.  Additional after-school sessions may be offered.  Mural will be finalized and constructed in May 2012.

5.       A public opening at 5pm, on the night of Bozeman's first Artwalk, will celebrate the finished piece of public artwork.  Postcards with images of the mural will be distributed at this time.

Lesson Plan for Design process in the classroom:

“Bozeman, our Community” Mural Art lesson for teachers: 

o    Lesson Objectives:

At the end of this session students will be able to:

o    Understand what a mural is and a brief history of it.

o    Design and, if the time is available, paint a mural. 

o    Implement basic drawing (painting techniques. 

o    Collaborate with others.

o    Develop project and time-management skills. 

o    Assessment (yes or no) Do students: work together, follow directions, participate in the design process and implement drawing and painting techniques?   

o    Classroom Materials:

Pencil, 8.5”x11” white copy paper (2 pieces of paper per student) 

Optional colored pencils, oil pastels or markers   

o    Methods:

1.       TERMS and INTRO- Students are introduced to new vocabulary to learn what a mural is and the power and beauty of public and collaborative artwork to share a message. 

2.       PRE-DISCUSSION- Guide the class to discuss:  The message they want to convey about the Community of Bozeman in their artwork Why they think the message is important How the mural will convey the message in form and in content Who their audience is What they hope to accomplish 

3.       BRAINSTORM- Students are given a piece of paper and writing instrument.  The teacher will set a timer for 2 minutes.  In those 2 minutes, students will write anything (ANYTHING) that they associate with the theme, “Bozeman as a Community.”  Students write as many terms as they can in 2minutes.  

4.       SELECTION- Students will chose the top three terms from their list. 

5.       QUICK SKETCH- Students will spend no more than 2 minutes on each of their top three terms and they will do a quick “Pictionary” style sketch of each term.  This is still a brainstorming exercise, so don’t worry about them being perfect.  Simply try to create a visual image for each word. 

6.       MURAL DESIGN- Students can choose one of the three quick sketches to develop or they can combine the three visual images into one piece.  In this step, students will create a final drawing on their second piece of paper.  They should take up the entire piece of paper in doing so.  This drawing can be black and white or in color.  Aspects of this drawing will be used for the final mural piece. ALL DRAWINGS ARE DUE BY THE END OF FEBRUARY!   

7.       PAINTING- Students are invited to paint the mural with artists at the Wilson School during the school day, April 16-20.  Classroom sign-ups will be provided.


Mural- A painting on a wall which gives voice to the group who created it.  

Collaborate-To work together 

Consensus- General agreement by a group of people 

Sketch- A quick, simple drawing which conveys the basic visual idea of an image

Composition- An arrangement of visual elements 

Graffiti-Words or pictures “scribbled” (“graffiti” means “scribble in Italian) on walls or other surfaces, usually public, and usually done without permission. The term, Graffiti is gaining an additional definition as a genre of art based on stylized lettering and cartoonlike figures and objects. This art form originates in illegal public art, primarily created using spray paint and permanent markers 

Drawing and Painting Techniques:

Under painting- blocking out base colors and painting from the direction of the background first and foreground last.

Glazing- Allowing a color to come through from the background.

Depth- Showing three-dimensional shape on a two-dimensional surface.

Airbrushing- a light under painting done with a spray device

Blocking out- saving an area to paint, painting in a progression with different saved areas.

Composition- Making an entire work visually interesting.

Design- creating an interesting composition using the elements of art.

Elements of Art-


The texture is the quality of a surface or the way any work of art is represented.


Form may be created by the forming of two or more shapes or as three-dimensional shape (cube, pyramid, sphere, etc.). It may be enhanced by tone, texture and color. Form is considered three-dimensional showing height, width and depth.


Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. Space includes the background, foreground and middle ground. Space refers to the distances or areas around, between or within components of a piece. There are two types of space: positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing the subject matter. Negative space refers to the space around and between the subject matter.


Shape pertains to the use of areas in two dimensional spaces that can be defined by edges, setting one flat specific space apart from another. Shapes can be geometric (e.g.: square, circle, triangle, hexagon, etc.) or organic (such as the shape of a puddle, blob, leaf, boomerang, etc.) in nature. Shapes are defined by other elements of art: Space, Line, Texture, Value, Color, Form.


Color pertains to the use of hue in artwork and design. Defined as primary colors (red, yellow, blue) which cannot be mixed in pigment from other hues, secondary colors (green, orange, purple) which are directly mixed from combinations of primary colors. Further combinations of primary and secondary colors create tertiary (and more) hues. Tint and Shade are references to adding variations in Value; other tertiary colors are derived by mixing either a primary or secondary color with a neutral color. e.g. Red + White = Pink.


Value, or tone, refers to the use of light and dark, shade and highlight, in an artwork. Black-and-white photography depends entirely on value to define its subjects. Value is directly related to contrast.


Line is most easily defined as a mark that spans a distance between two points (or the path of a moving point), taking any form along the way. As an art element, line pertains to the use of various marks, outlines and implied lines in artwork and design, most often used to define shape in two-dimensional work. Implied line is the path that the viewer's eyes take as it follows shapes, colors, and form along a path, but may not be continuous or physically connected.

Contour- defining the shape of an object

Highlights and Shadow- a range of color from dark to light.

Details- In the foreground, small intricate aspects of the work.

Images of Process

Download: Photos of the process.

Research paper on murals, public art, and community art.

Download: Mural-Prescott essay.docx

Links to Mural Publicity:

NBC Montana:

Downtown Bozeman News:

Moose Radio:

Bozeman Daily Chronicle:


Beartooth NBC:



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