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High school students paint mural along the Keystone Bridge in collaboration with art museum, city

A group of student artists are standing together. There is a podium in front of them, and one student is speaking into a microphone. Behind them is a multicolored mural along the east side of the Keystone Bridge.
Jose Davila IV
KUNR Public Radio
The artists speak about what painting the mural means to them at the presentation on Friday, July 22, in Reno, Nev.

Lee en español.

You might notice Reno’s newest piece of public art next time you’re strolling along the Truckee River or attending an event at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center.

The massive mural starts under the north side of the Keystone Bridge at Riverside Drive and continues along its east wall until the bridge ends.

It features soaring hot air balloons and looming purple mountains. A dozen high school students came up with the idea for the image and painted it with leadership from local artist Hannah Eddy.

The mural is a part of a collaboration between the Nevada Museum of Art, the City of Reno, and local students.

“The process was very fun and challenging at the same time, like, getting to get everybody’s ideas all in one, in one mural, which shows a little bit of who everybody was, was also a positive thing that happened,” said Adriana Guerrero, a muralist and recent graduate of Hug High School.

The mural was unveiled on Friday, July 22. Students spoke about how they came into the project not knowing what to expect, but ended up appreciating the opportunity to work in a team atmosphere. They also hoped to do more projects like this one in the future.

“Having so many people come together and do this is amazing, and it shows you the power of, you know, art and teamwork,” said Emily Lopez, who is a muralist and junior at Hug High.

Each of the 12 students climbed ladders and painted sections of the mural during the weeklong installation. They were also paid for their artwork.

The project started when the director of the art museum’s E.L. Cord Museum School, Eddie Guth, reached out to the city to see if it would be interested in a new mural.

“It gives kids this real sense of community and taking pride in that, so this will continue moving forward. We just need to find wall space,” Guth said.

Guth says the museum will work with students on a new mural each year.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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