Student painting a mural at Valley Springs.

In the heart of Valley Springs Middle School (VSM), a vibrant transformation is underway. 

Amidst the usual bustling hallways, blank canvases stretch across unused lockers throughout the school. With brushes in hand and imaginations ignited, students from both seventh and eighth grade are coming together thanks to a grant from the Buncombe County Schools Foundation. 

“I thought this would be a great way to brighten up the old lockers, and bring a breath of fresh air to the school,” said art teacher Liza Gruen. “What better way to do this than with student murals to showcase their creative skills. The main goal is that the artwork is uplifting and positive with captivating visuals and quotes.” 

The vibrant murals will depict academics, athletics and the arts. Ms. Gruen feels that this project is teaching students more than just how to paint a pretty picture. 

“Art allows children to express themselves however they want as they have the freedom to make choices in their work,” she explained. “It teaches critical thinking and problem solving skills, as they learn that there are multiple solutions to a problem and not just one right answer.”

This collaborative project will be something that future VSM students will enjoy for years to come. 

Ms. Gruen helping a student paint a mural.