students with their artwork

The Hun Middle School Artcology club has recently begun conceptualizing a mural on campus that celebrates Black History Month and what better way to kickstart the creative process than to collaborate with award-winning muralist, Terrance Vann. 

Mr. Vann has become an impactful presence in his home state of Delaware; his illustrations have appeared in publications, art exhibitions, and festivals around the world. Most recently, Mr. Vann was named an honoree of the Black History in the Making organization, a foundation dedicated to continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and received the Young King award for his art-related community service work in Wilmington, Delaware. 

As an artist who creates murals with the intention of spreading positive universal messages, Mr. Vann began by providing students a prompt: “When I begin conceptualizing what I want to create, I always start with a word that I want to represent,” he said. “In this instance, let’s use the word humanity as a starting point.” 

Mr. Vann gave students the space to think about what the word humanity meant and how to illustrate that on paper. 

“When I think about humanity, I think about an anatomical heart,” he said. “All humans have a heart, so right off the bat anyone who sees this illustration of a heart will be able to identify with it.” 

Once the Artcology members drew their individual depiction of an anatomical heart, Mr. Vann challenged students to begin thinking of other images that they could add inside the heart that would represent humanity. 

Students drew scenes of nature, illustrations of love, and personal representations of what humanity means to them inside of their heart. 

Throughout the session, Mr. Vann shared with students other tips and tricks on how to connect with peers through art. 

“Art can mean so many different things to so many different people,” he said. “Yet at the same time, it’s a wonderful language that brings all of us together. Whenever you are trying to convey an idea, it’s always helpful to think of images or symbols that you think others may resonate with.” 

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