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Gerardo Blog

Welcome Gerardo Arias!
Please help us welcome Mr. Gerardo Arias, an “artist in residence” from Nicaragua, who will be visiting our St. Ursula Academy Community from March 27-April 17. He, along with Art students, will create a four-panel mural with the theme: “Inspiring Leadership for a Bright Future.” He will also visit other classes to share language, culture, and important issues facing the people of Nicaragua!!
Kelly Gunderson '16
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:17:08 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]

Shauna Reilly and Abby Roehr worked with Gerardo today. They took turns helping him paint; they painted parts in the in the bottom right quadrant. I’m very impressed with how much the mural has been transformed by both the way it has been painted and the colors that it has been painted with. Everything flows smoothly together without being too jumbled. Shauna painted the dancer with a mix of reds, oranges, and yellows. Abby began painting one of the hands a vibrant peach. While one student was helping Gerardo paint, the other, as instructed by Mr. Nicaise, drew the scene playing out. Abby went first, drawing Gerardo and Shauna as they painted. After Shauna finished the dancer, Abby took her place and Shauna began drawing Abby and Gerardo. At one point, Gerardo even helped Abby draw the scene! I hope to continue to see most of everyone’s different thoughts and ideas incorporated into this project.

Elisa Russell '16
Posted 4/4/2014 at 11:25:12 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]
Claire Crispen and Emma Cassani were the students helping Gerardo today. The mural has come along really well, and almost every part of it has been painted at least a little bit. The students today mostly focused on painting the bottom half of the mural, while Gerardo added details to the top half. It looks like the top half of the mural is almost done, and I’m impressed with how colorful and well put together it turned out. I also think the symbols in this mural will really get through to the girls. I’d like to see how it looks, finished and hanging up in Keller. Hopefully it will inspire the students as they pass by it.

Reply Posts
Gerardo Arias Mural
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:39:18 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I agree that the girls will understand the symbols in the mural because they define who we are as Ursula women. I think that Gerardo and everyone who worked on this mural did a fantastic job because when I first looked at it, I did not even notice the little images that went along with it. I love every meaning in this painting. Sincerely, Casey Brenning
Skyler Barton '17
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:38:34 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Everyday when I walk into class I enjoy seeing the mural. It is painted more and each individual hidden image is displayed. The more I look at the mural, the more I see and the more I am inspired. My favorite part is the girl and that her face consists of all of the colors of the mural.
Hanna Schnieber '17
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:19:06 AM by [anonymous visitor]
When I walked into class today I was told that we were going to reflect on the mural that Gerardo, along with many SUA students, have been creating for the Keller Center. As I looked at the painting I felt that when the mural is hanging in the Keller Center and many students walk past it they too will be inspired to become better leaders. I also feel that if a parent was to look at the wonderful piece of art they would immediately be told the story of Saint Ursula Academy by simply looking at every image in the mural. Hanna Schnieber '17
"Margot Koenig"
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:18:40 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I feel the same way about how the colors of this mural really bring about the picture and the symbolism. The yellow represents light, which is a great symbol of brightness and intelligence for St. Ursula. All of the colors flow together very well to make the painting look very graceful. Margot Koenig, 2017
A New Perspective
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:15:43 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Today our art foundations class pondered the meaning behind the mural by Gerardo Arias. After sharing ideas with the class, the woman in the middle really took on a new meaning because she was absorbing what she heard and she relayed it through her own voice and talents, depicted in the trumpet and paintbrush. To me, the hands around the world symbolize how as a community, Saint Ursula nurtures their students to grow into talented young women so they can be prepared after graduating. The blue technology chip in the shape of a tree represents how even though the world is ever-changing, we as Ursula students continue to grow while adapting to our environment. -Mary Berding '17
I see the Inspiration!
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:15:03 AM by [anonymous visitor]
When looking at the mural today I noticed that all the bright colors gave off a certain light that was hard to miss. So far this mural has done a great job in focusing on the theme of inspiration. I found inspiration in this mural in every brush stroke because it represented everything that I want to become and everything that Ursula stands for. It continues to remind me to always be the best I can whether in playing a sport, or just in everyday classes. I look forward to seeing the mural in Keller everyday to give me that much needed boost for the last bell of the day.- Hannah Weadick
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:12:24 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I thought that Gerardo's mural was inspiring and a good representation of leadership. I think that it shows leadership in how all the things the girl was thinking about all came together in a funnel that came out again through her mouth. To me this shows that she is confident and not afraid to say how she feels. Also, I think that at everyone can relate to at least one object or idea in the mural, whether it is something you are interested in or something that you believe in. Madison Poon '17
Muy Bonito! (Very Pretty)
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:11:30 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I take Art Foundations and everyday as I walk into FAB and examine the Mural, it looks better and better each time. Sometimes as I am working on my own piece of art, I look over at Gerardo's process and how he paints each stroke so carefully. The symbols that comprise of the Mural are so in depth and interesting. The most inspiring part to me would be the 'Collecting and Expressing' tornado-like shapes coming from the girl's ears and mouth. It shows leadership and expression. Also, all the colors on the Mural come together as one and look great! They blend nicely together and give an awesome effect! Thank you Gerardo! Kelli Currin '17
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:10:57 AM by [anonymous visitor]
My favorite part of the mural is the girl. I feel like she is a representation of how education helps young people become more expressive and oriented to leadership. The mural not only represents the young women at our school but women everywhere who are leaders and are able to express themselves in many ways. I also see the hands that circle the images as a representation of how the world is made up of leaders who have to join together to make a difference. If it weren't for the leaders in our society, we would not be where we are today. -Lillie Listermann '17
Tree of life
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:10:37 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think that it is really neat to see this mural complete and to notice all of the items within it. The "tree of life" to me symbolizes the intelligence of every student at Saint Ursula and also throughout the world. It also shows how we grow bigger when we get older and we also gain more knowledge. I saw the mural when it was practically finished and this tree of life happened to stick out to me the most because of it's detail and color but, that also got me thinking of reasons why it stuck out to me. I hope that other students find something that sticks out to them in this mural when they see it as they walk around school just like I did. Kendyl Ferrara '17
Elizabeth James 2017
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:10:03 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The mural's process is coming along very well! I love walking into art class and seeing the mural's progression everyday! I love the bright colors and how they make the mural more alive and eye catching. Elizabeth James 2017
Response to Mural
Posted 4/9/2014 at 9:22:26 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The mural has very little left and it is looking great! I can tell Gerardo and all the other students have been working hard to finish the mural. It is an inspiration to me and I hope it will be to everyone who sees it, when hung in Keller. It's a perfect mural to represent everything about Saint Ursula.
By Laura Osborne '14
Posted 4/3/2014 at 11:24:20 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]

 The mural is coming along great! More and more of the color is getting painted making the mural come to life. Today, juniors, Claire Barker and Mary Freidl, worked on the Mural with Gerardo adding more color to the painting. Gerardo’s style as well as the students are combining to create a diverse mural looking almost like the objects could jump off the page. Gerardo was working on creating the STEM portion and painting a “tree of life” in the middle of the the square. The mural is becoming more alive and we are so excited to see how it will progress!


Reply Posts
Hidden Deeper Meanings
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:40:32 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Today, as a class, we all circled around the mural to have a discussion about what we see and interpret in the art. We noticed that at first glance you see a lot of colors and pictures, but as you take the time to really study the art you are able to see more messages and symbols. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product!
Mural Reflection
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:40:17 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think that the mural is wonderful. It is both complex and simple at the same time. The amount of detail and hard-work that went into the mural amazes me. I like how students were able to work on the mural. I love how all together this mural is a representation of St. Ursula. It is something unique and I think that when hung in Keller, girls will love it! Natalie Mouch '17
My favorite part is the color detail
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:39:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I really like Gerardo incorporated students in the mural. Looking at it into more detail made me enjoy the painting and the colors even more. I really have enjoyed watching Gerardo painting it, it has been very fascinating. Emma Weisbrod '17
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:39:28 AM by [anonymous visitor]
His mural has so much detail. And if you look closely, there are many things hidden within the painting. Like the piano, the dove, and the guitar. This must have taken a really long time for him to plan all of this out.
Gerardo's Blog Response
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:14:16 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have been inspired by this mural and the components that make up the mural. My favorite part about it is the amount of color and diversity in color throughout the mural. Another thing that struck me was the objects that represent talents and knowledge that are expressed throughout the mural. It's coming along great and I can't wait to see it in Keller!
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:13:14 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I too, agree that the mural appears as though it could jump off the page. It is beautiful and the hands that put it together should and must be very proud. I love seeing people find ways to express themselves in a way that is different from the normal, verbal expression. A lot of times creative forms of expression that are non-verbal are much more effective, and moving to a wide variety of people. -Sophie
By Clair Crispen '15
Posted 3/27/2014 at 12:31:48 PM by Misha Bell [staff member]

Progress on the mural is coming along great over here in FAB! Today we are completely done with the preliminary sketch of the piece. Sophomore Charlie Wilcox and Cat Schoeppner, along with Mr. Nicaise, worked with Gerardo to finalize a color palette. “We are going to use yellow to pull the whole thing together because it symbolizes St. Ursula and light,” says Cat. This concept very much lends itself to one of the mural’s overall theme: “Inspiring Leaders for a Bright World.” The group worked primarily on painting the upper left and right quadrants, which represent the STEM and education careers, respectively.

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Reply Posts
Importance of the Colors
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:13:57 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The colors are a very important point of the mural. While all the colors are different, they all come together in order to create cohesion and visual contrast in the very dynamic piece of work. Not only do the contrasting colors come together, they also help to add energy and depth to the mural. Having yellow as the main color does represent the light of SUA and brings an element of happiness and brightness to the piece.
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:13:41 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think what you are saying about the painting is totally correct about how it symbolizes SUA and the Light
By Mary Friedl '15
Posted 3/26/2014 at 9:50:05 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]
Lindsay and Ellie were working on the mural with Gerardo today, but before they were helping, a few other girls were helping to finalize a design. At first, Ellie and Lindsay were working on completing the transfer of the mural from the paper to the wood panels. After they did this, Gerardo was making adjustments to the mural by fixing the hand position at the top and simplifying other parts. Lindsay and Ellie weren’t working with Gerardo very much. Instead, they were working on a color palette for the mural. I was impressed with how hard of a worker Gerardo is and also how, without speaking very much since he only speaks Spanish, he is able to understand what he needs to do. I am interested in seeing Gerardo’s interpretation of the mural and I think it will look very cool once we’re finished with it.

By Clair Barker '15
Posted 3/25/2014 at 9:49:43 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]
 Today Elisa and Kelly worked on the mural with Gerardo. They helped hang the panels on the wall to trace the mural by holding them up while Gerardo hammered the panels in place. Elisa and Kelly also helped by cleaning materials needed to use for the mural. It impressed me today how well they worked together to figure out how to set everything up that is needed for the mural. I was impressed with how well they resolved conflicts with setting it up. As the mural is developed I hope to see ideas in it that resemble the students in the class.
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Reply Posts
Posted 4/9/2014 at 10:13:34 AM by [anonymous visitor]
It is amazing to see how far it has come. I started art when the mural was just a drawing and now it has grown into something vibrant and magnificent
Posted 3/24/2014 at 9:51:03 AM by Misha Bell [staff member]
Our Artist in Residence, Mr. Gerardo Arias

Gerardo at Work


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