Character for All Seasons

Connolly Middle School, Tempe Arizona
8’ x 36’, 360sf
Mixed media- acrylic paint and handmade clay mosaic mural


Designed by Niki Glen and fabricated by Kasha Banko and Connolly Middle School students, the mural weaves together a nature scene with inspiring words and rich texture- allowing the students to discover something new every day. The mural depicts a landscape found in Northern Arizona with a waterfall, cactus, animals, insects, and trees. A variety of Arizona’s ecosystems is represented from riparian, low desert, high desert, to forest and mountains. Additionally, different trees found in Arizona are also depicted i.e. Arizona Pine, Palo Verde.


Within the texture of the main tree are words inscribed in clay tile reflecting important school and life values: joy, learning, integrity, honesty, love, good communication, respect, peace, and friendship. The unified color scheme, handmade details, rich colors, organic composition, and motivation words all bring attention to the overall message- make a commitment to a healthy and balanced life.