Local artist Leo Rucker and art students create murals to brighten school hallways

Steven Evans a rising junior at Carter G. Woodson helps with the mural project at the school.

Local artist Leo Rucker and art students create murals to  brighten school hallways
July 14
14:56 2021

Students at Carter G. Woodson School (CGWS) will have quite a surprise when they return to classrooms next month. With help from several high school art students, local artist Leo Rucker is creating a series of murals throughout the school. 

The murals include hand-painted portraits of the school’s founders and images of well-known people like Maya Angelou, Ruby Bridges, Nelson Mandela and several others. There is also a Rucker original, designed to encourage students to read. 

Rucker, who is a native of Winston-Salem, said he was elated when he heard about the mural project at CGWS. He said it was a great opportunity to help improve the school and introduce the students to something new. Students have been able to learn several different techniques and styles while working with Rucker, including drawing on a large scale and transferring. Rucker said math is also incorporated into the art lessons through the use of angles and measurement. 

“It’s been wonderful to be able to share a part of myself while teaching the students something new,” Rucker said. “I think it’s very important that the older generation share their wisdom and what they know with the younger generation, so I feel like with this, I’m just doing my part.” 

Rasheeda Shankle, who leads Carter G. Woodson’s summer learning and visual arts programs, said students were eager to work with Rucker. “There were a few students who were signed up to participate in the visual arts program but they had to get their grades up, and within a month we had students who got their grades where they needed to be, to be a part of the program,” Shankle said. 

“It has been awesome to see students not only inspired, but actually want to help. It’s been a great benefit to the school as well as the students.” 

In addition to the murals in the hallway, other renovations are also underway at CGWS. The completed artwork and renovations are expected to be completed before the start of the 2021-2022 school year. When asked about the mural project and the renovations earlier this week, Frank Rios-Perez, who recently graduated from CGWS, said, “It’s good to see something new and different come to the school.” 

Carter G. Woodson is a public charter school that has been serving students in grades K-12 since 1997. The school offers free tuition and bus transportation to and from any neighborhood in the city. Rooted in tradition and evolving to remain competitive for the 21st century, CGWS provides an academic standard of excellence that differs from the traditional classroom. Along with the major core courses such as math and English, CGWS also offers courses in art, liberal arts, culture, agriculture, and sustainable living.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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