A D A P T  &  S U S T A I N 

Tuesday, October 14: 

Open Stakeholders meeting 3:00 pm

Gateway Community College Campus, room IE1200


Join us to learn more about this mural project and explore current and future opportunities to participate.  We look forward to meeting you.


This mural project has been supported and/or inspired by... 

Martinson Sustainability Solutions Research Grant

Thursday, October 16

Site clean-up is complete!

Thanks to Tito and Pilar at Mountain Park Health Center for clearing the leaves and debris away, and to Pedro, Alejandro, and Augustine for their hard work on a Saturday morning.  Now we can get started.


Saturday, October 18 

Zero-VOC paint test

Let's see if this paint works.  It's healthier for the kids to paint with, so we're hoping it flows well and looks good.

Post-test report:  YES!  This mural will be painted with  Mythic Zero-VOC non-toxic paints, with generous support from the Ecoclean Organic Living store.


Mondays and Fridays in November and December:

Workshops in your classroom or community group 

If you are a student, teacher, school administrator, neighbor, or community group representative, you are welcome to sign up your class or your group for free creative art activities and discussions that will contribute to the design of the Adapt & Sustain mural!   

Workshops are planned for people of all ages, designed around your specific interests or curriculum requirements, and they can range from a half hour to a half day. Each event includes an introduction to a sustainability topic, a hands-on art activity, lots of questions to think & talk about, and follow-up opportunities to paint your ideas directly on the mural wall.   

Gateway Community College Drawing II:

Visual metaphor & project workshop

These students worked in groups to imagine visual metaphors 

from selected terms in the mural.  We also talked through

some of the technical aspects of this project:  Stakeholder

involvement, the difference between 'participatory' and

'community-driven' work in the arts, and the tension 

between using an open creative process on the one hand,

while ensuring a good creative product on the other.   

Magic Keys Child Development Center:

Canal safety and biodiversity workshop

Here is what these first-through-fifth-graders who live in the Gateway community told me about canals:  Canals have DUCKS.  I did not realize, until today, that the ducks are in fact the MOST IMPORTANT THING about the entire canal system.  We used pencils and pastels to explore canal safety and other living organisms that call the canals home, but really in the end this workshop was - unexpectedly - all about ducks.

David Crockett Elementary School:

Scale and systems workshop (grades 4 - 6)

In this assembly workshop, nearly two hundred 4th, 5th, and 6th graders thought about spatial scale: Where the world fits among very small things (like atoms, pixels, or ants) and very large things (like the universe).  They described the things they really liked about the world, in words and pictures.  


Then we talked a little bit about systems at different scales - how there are several different parts in a system, but they are all connected - and we took a walk down to the mural site to see if we could make one interconnected system of students and slinky toys as long as the mural wall. 

It turned out we couldn't quite do it, this time.  But it was a good day to try.

Somali American United Council:

Capital youth workshop

These students from Camelback and Sonora Science high schools explored the different kinds of capital, or wealth, that

individuals and communities have across the world.  In the process, they created visual symbols of prosperity and well-being 

that will be included on the mural wall. 

Many thanks to the students, neighbors, and other stakeholders who contributed to the Adapt & Sustain mural project!

Academy of Excellence:

Classroom workshops 

What is the very, very, very smallest thing you can think of?

And then what is the biggest, most enormous thing you can think of?

Children in kindergarten through 4th grade in this friendly charter school answered these questions out loud, talked them through, and then drew their ideas out with different art materials.  Older students even began to draw their ideas of what systems look like at different scales.    


A few days later, 5th and 6th graders compared health - "being free of illness and injury" - with well-being, which includes health but also depends on other things. Both health and well-being depend on systems.  We talked about the different physical systems that define health (they had just learned about the cardiovascular system, so that was kind of perfect).   Then we talked about the larger systems that contribute to the well-being of people and neighborhoods.  


How do you draw something like well-being, which might include on your health, your family and friends, your home, your work or what you learn at school, your safety, being able to provide for yourself, or your happiness?

How do you draw happiness (in twenty minutes, in a workshop)? 

Painting has begun!

You are invited to spend a little time painting on the Grand Canal 

in November and December.


The Adapt & Sustain mural will be painted over the course of the next few weeks while workshops are still happening.  

Click here to let me know if you'd like to help paint the wall.

All materials are provided, and all ages are welcome.   

Children must bring adults!

Background preparations:

A desert sky of "sherbet colors"

is the simple background primer layer for the sky, behind the mural imagery.  


This was a smooth morning's work for Annielle, Joseph, Ramon, Emmanuel, Emilio, Sheldon, Laura, Merissa, and Darlene, who are in the Drawing II class Gateway Community College.   Next week, they will draw out designs on the wall.  



Now the landscape...

Open painting day this Saturday, Dec. 6, for all ages.

Water, land, mountains, buildings, trees, a garden, horses, clouds, ships, fish, rockets, turtles, stars...People add these things and whatever they have in mind on open painting days.  In the end, the mural image will be a balance between the workshop ideas, the things people paint on-site, the atmosphere of the canal bank itself (quiet and spacious), and the original plan to illustrate particular academic terms. 


All materials are provided, and you can stay as long as you like.

ASU SOS 110:  

Terminology survey:  which words matter?

In a two-group workshop at the School of Sustainability, students who have been dealing with many of these terms and definitions all semester shared their thoughts about which ones are most important, which ones are meaningless, how the terms are connected, and how to express the most important ideas to the most people.  

Momentum Program:

Sustain and Adapt workshop

What do you need to hold on to, and what are you able to let go of, in the face of a challenge?  Clients from the Momentum outpatient program at St. Luke's Behavioral Health Center began to explore this idea in the first session of a four-part workshop.   Different art materials and techniques will be introduced, so each participant can work on a single project for the month or try different things each week. 

Copyright © A D A P T & S U S T A I N. All rights reserved.

And now the actual images... 

Painting continues through the end of the year 2014.  

If you missed the Open Painting Days or would like to bring people back with you to paint again, join us the Saturday after Christmas.  (rain or snow will change the plan).