Community Art Makes a Difference in Greensboro: Part 1

This is a three-part story exploring different ways art is being used to inspire social change, create better living spaces and build community in Greensboro.  Keep an eye out for Part 2 and 3, which will be posted over the following two days.

Part 1: Northeast Guilford High School students develop place within the community through mural of Greensboro Four

Ali Krantzler, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Laura Burt

In November of 2011, the students of Helen Palmenteri’s “Art 3” class at Northeast Guilford High School decided to create a mural of the Greensboro Four. They saw the project through to its completion in mid-January of 2012.

 Advanced Placement art students and Community Partner Kelly de Silva assisted with the project. Over thirty pairs of hands went into painting the mural.

Senior Nataki Philips described the image in the mural.

“It shows the Greensboro Four at the lunch counter, all wearing symbolic bracelets around their wrists, which represent hands of inspiration.”

The bracelets say, “Perseverance,” “Integrity,” “Honesty,” and “Courage.”

Philips said that she felt a connection with her classmates while collaborating on the project.

“This project actually really inspired me for the meaning behind my future career, my dream career. I’m going to be a photographer that can take pictures and try to inspire people with my pictures and try to help change from that direction.”

Photo Credit: Laura Burt

Palmenteri explained how this project has been a highlight in her career and is the reason why she teaches.

It was a great opportunity for me to show my students how powerful art can be. Our little painting has encouraged so many other people into action, and we hope that it continues to do so.”

 The art class would like to do another big project like this, but that depends upon whether they can allocate the resources. Most of their art supplies are donated from the community. One way in which this mural encapsulates community is the fact that students from Guilford, UNCG and N.E. High School all worked on the mural, which was of A&T students.


4 thoughts on “Community Art Makes a Difference in Greensboro: Part 1

    1. Thanks, Stephen! Art in all its forms is such an integral part of community. It’s inspiring to see how people use art to both raise and solve social issues in so many different ways across such a range of contexts. I love the idea behind UniverSoul of gathering together a sort of virtual meeting space for artists and musicians. How did you come up with that idea in the first place?

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