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The “Colors of Music” mixed media mural features State College K-12 students and college student art, silhouettes of dancers, and mosaic tiles. The 44-foot mural was designed in part as a Penn State class in art education, “Beyond the Classroom Walls.” The class was taught by Natalia Pilato, director of the Community Arts Collective (CAC), as part of her Masters of Education thesis. Elody Gyekis, leading mural artist and co-director of the CAC assisted with the digital design, touch-up and the installation processes.

Students enrolled in the course worked on community fundraising, outreach, presentations and art-based curriculum building. They also interviewed students and residents about their visual interpretations of music. Once the design was digitized and transferred to individual panels, more than 400 local artists, aged 3 to 74, helped create the paint-by-numbers mural. It was supported and sponsored by many local donations and business, and student fundraisers.

The CAC, based in State College, was established to enrich community through artistic processes using public space as a canvas to promote civic engagement.

Natalia Pilato, executive director of the Collective, is completing her PhD in art education at Penn State. In addition to “The Colors of Music” and “Dreams Take Flight” murals in State College, she was the Director of Arts and Education at the Campbell.