A new mural in the main hall of Douglass Elementary hopes to inspire generations of students to follow the path toward higher education and successful careers.
The mural was painted and installed by Powell Elementary art teacher Ivan Torres and it depicts the road students will take toward success: from Douglass, through Guillen Middle and Bowie High, and eventually to El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso.
“The mural really represents the EPISD vision of creating future-ready students,” Douglass Principal Alonzo Barraza said. “It depicts the progression of the student as they go from elementary to middle and high schools and beyond. We are fortunate we have artists giving back to our community and sparking the interest of the children.”
Torres painted the mural, which is approximately 17 feet long and 3 feet tall, over the span of several years. It is made up of three different panels, the first of which he painted on his own. Bowie High School students helped him with the other two panels.
“I made it a class project when I was teaching at Bowie,” Torres said. “They helped me prep and assemble the second and third panels, as well as helping draw and paint the second panel.”
The artwork was unveiled on March 28, much to the delight of the faculty, staff and students at Douglass.
“The students love it,” Barraza said. “They like to point out the different schools they are familiar with and recognizing their own school is the beginning of their journey.”
The mural features all of the school’s in the Douglass’ feeder pattern, framed by the Franklin Mountains and blooming yellow poppies.
The image of a mother reading to her son also highlights the importance of parental involvement since the path of education starts at home.
Torres was inspired to paint the mural after graduating with his degree in art and education from UTEP.
“I wanted to do something with an education theme, so I collaborated with some people about the idea and went from there,” Torres said. “I want them to pursue higher education, and start thinking about college now.”
As an EPCC College Bound campus, the mural is representative of what the school is trying to teach the students early their education careers.