Walter Johnson High School Community Creates Mosaic Mural Inspired by Former Student (PHOTOS)

Walter Johnson High School (WJHS) students and members of the community are working together with local artists to create a new mosaic mural to go on display at the school. Volunteers and students have been working for months to put together the delicate piece of artwork.  MyMCMedia received a preview of the mosaic mural which is nearly complete. Walter Johnson High School

The Walter Johnson Mosaic Project is sponsored by the Orange Wednesday Foundation which was established in memory of Noah Marks, a former student at WJHS. The foundation aims to spread awareness and support families about mental health issues. The Orange Wednesday Foundation also provides grants for the creation of community art projects and programs.

When it’s completed, the artwork will be on display near the cafeteria at WJHS. Jennifer Baker is the principal of WJHS and says that she’s glad to see so many students and members of the community come together.

“This is a community project that was created by the hands of students, parents and a lot more people. It just represents the vibrant community that we have. I think the project has a lot of meaning [for the students] because it was donated by the Marks family and from the [foundation]. Although the project started because we lost a student…The family really wanted to contribute something to our school that would enhance the beauty of the school,” Baker said.Walter Johnson High School mosaic mural

Janna Marks is the mother of Noah Marks and founder of the Orange Wednesday Foundation.

“We feel that art is a great healer, its also something that brings people together and it was something that really exemplifies our son’s life. One of the important things about the foundation is that we want to remember how he lived,” Marks said. “We were supported by the community every step of the way…there’s no way that we could ever repay them but to come back and create something that the entire community can enjoy [is] a way to say thank you to them.” Marks said.

The project is a collaboration between two local artists, painter Rosana Azar and mosaic artist Ali Mirsky. Azar personally knew Noah Marks from a young age and used his artwork as inspiration for the design of the project.

“I remember [Noah] as a little kid having trouble getting into colors so most of his artwork was black and white. When we thought about the design we just thought it would be very compelling to just add the black and white and start with some of the designs he had in his sketch book,” Azar said.Walter Johnson High School Mosaic Project

Over 50 volunteers and students are expected to put the final touches on the mural on Saturday, Feb 27 with the final stage of grouting to take place on Thursday, March 3. The WJHS Mosaic Project will permanently go on display near the cafeteria of WJHS in late spring.

For more information about the project or to find out how you can participate, visit the Orange Wednesday Foundation website.

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Willie James Inman

About Willie James Inman

Willie James Inman is a Community Engagement Specialist and Multimedia Journalist at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach him on Twitter @imwilljames.


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