Painting the World

History unfolding in our beloved GHS mural.

The murals of Garfield tell the inspiring stories of marginalized communities all the way from the thriving towns developed by the indigenous people of this land to the various alum that became huge moguls in music, art, activism and so much more. We see the masterpiece every time we walk through the halls of the first floor and it is so much more meaningful to the people at Garfield than a few bright colors plastered on the wall, it’s an engaging history lesson complete with representation of multiple racial identities and inspiration to be the next world leaders and change makers.
Students here truly appreciate the art that was done by a Garfield alum. There are many facets of the mural to explore and feel inspired by. “My favorite part is definitely the stats about the 80’s and 90’s that are right outside of the women’s bathroom on the first floor. it’s my favorite because it shows how much history Garfield carries and how Garfield has always been a barrier breaking school. We were the first school in Seattle with majority POC and it also shows how rich the central districts history is” said senior here at Garfield, Leila Adams.
The murals also bring recognition to the history of the central district before colonized America which is a huge deal since there has been a narrative that civilization didn’t start until the European settlers arrived. “My favorite part of the GHS murals is all of the history. Each mural has a piece of history that is never taught in school. That also gives us the opportunity to not only learn about the history of Garfield but the history of Washington is in a visual form.” said sophomore here at Garfield, KyRi Miller. “My favorite mural is the Native American mural and the reason why is because in almost every part of the world we don’t get much history or their culture. Also it reminds us that we are on stolen land and we need to understand the importance of that.”
The activist scene is becoming more enveloped into Garfield culture and in the past few years we have seen a wave of fresh faces getting involved in speaking out and motivating their peers to speak out as well. “My favorite mural at Garfield is the image of the one and only Martin Luther King, Jr. and the people of Seattle protesting. The reasons why I love this image is because Dr. King on November 9th of 1961 spoke at Garfield; inspiring the local civil rights movement and gave a speech about activism among young people” said senior here at Garfield, Xihomara Urrea.
“The mural represents the fight, the struggle, the power that we the people that we, the people gave to achieve who we are today and the lives we live with the movement and change that we created as a community” said Urrea
And as we know history is never-ending. New chapters unfold each day that passes and great things continue to happen at Garfield. What new things will be painted on the walls of the second story? “I think I would want the first basketball game I ever went to to be on the mural, because although Garfield tends to divide itself during school hours when it comes time to cheer for our teams we’re all bulldogs and that spirit shows” said Adams.
Not only do we show our bulldog unity at our school sporting events but we also come together in times of protest. Our protest against the election of Donald Trump was a huge success and made television.“A defining moment in my high school experience that I would love to have added on to the mural would be the moment that we as Garfield students stood by each other to protest the presidency of our current president of the United States. To shine a light on the oppression of immigrants, LGBTQIA, discrimination, misogyny, black lives and many more. This is definitely one of the amazing moments where we all stood together, getting understand each other, and all of us came together as a community to fight for our rights” said Urrea. This would be an excellent edition to the mural because it was one of the catalysts in the new wave of activism here at Garfield.
The murals accentuate the greatest parts of Garfield and the Central District. The mural takes the diversity in the halls and puts that diversity on display and that is a huge deal for many students here. There is so much history that has yet to be discovered and this helps