In efforts to liven the school hallways up, Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School recently added a mural to its school library.

The mural is made up of different iconic characters that children can relate to such as Harry Potter, Curious George, Jack and the Giant Beanstalk and the Three Little Pigs.

A significantly-large book lies in the center of the mural with characters jumping out of it, which is designed to promote more reading among students at the school.

Principal Kelley Brunner said the administrators wanted to provide some beatification to the school, and felt the best way to do so was to come up with a way to not only make the school look more appealing and pleasant, but to help with the vision of making sure children love to read.

“I had seen some mural examples at some of our other schools, and met with our librarian and our PTO to talk about how we could make that happen. We really wanted them to understand that love for reading, so we were intentional on selecting the characters that are in there,” Brunner said. “We wanted them to be timeless; we wanted them to be characters that children, no matter what grade level they were, have a personal connection with them. It’s something we believe that will sustain life over time, and not be something we did… and does not have any meaning anymore.”

Terry Allen, who painted the mural, has done other types of artwork across the district, completing a mural at Kyrene Traditional Academy two years ago.

The Colina mural was a solo project for Allen, who worked on it during winter break, taking nearly 70 hours to complete.

Allen, a former Ahwatukee resident, said she enjoys working on big projects by herself because she is able to have complete creative control on the project.

She did get a few creative tips from Laura Hendrickson, media specialist, who helped with picking out the characters to be painted in the mural.

Allen’s process on painting murals consists of beginning with the larger pieces, such as the sky and the clouds, and then work on completing the smaller details.

She also enjoys working alone because it gives her some down time for herself, where she listens to different audio books and creates a blank canvas into a beautiful work of art.

Allen’s favorite aspect for creating the mural was being able to dive into a more “fairy-tale” vision, and she enjoyed painting the Jack and the Giant Beanstalk piece.

“It was so easy working with them because they knew what they wanted.”

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