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Local Elementary School Brightened by New Mural


Lakewood Elementary mural | Image by Colin Conly

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Lakewood Elementary School in Dallas is home to a new mural, thanks to a local mom and many other volunteers, the Lakewood Advocate reports.

Last fall, Meredith Conly, a mother of three and a former interior designer, submitted her design for the new Lakewood Elementary mural. The design was accepted, and since then, Conly has devoted many hours to bringing the project to life.

The completed mural is visible from the school’s Vanderbilt Avenue retaining wall in front of the playground. The colorful design loosely represents the various activities that comprise a child’s day by depicting the school’s mascot, a stallion, completing a series of tasks across the wall.

Conly, who had no painting experience, said the project “was quite a bit to take on.” When the school committee initially selected Conly’s design in October, the plan was not for her to paint the mural. However, due to funding issues, that changed.

Fortunately, Conly had some help. In March, Woodrow Wilson High School students participated in the project, cleaning and priming the 650-foot wall. More than 70 volunteers, including parents from other schools, participated in the painting using a paint-by-numbers system.

For Conly, the project was a way to get back into working. A lifelong love of textiles and a degree in graphic design led Conly to found her own company after moving from Austin to Dallas. However, she stopped working when she had children, rising fourth and first graders at Lakewood next year.

Conly said seeing the mural to fruition was a way to give back to the community where she has lived for 14 years.

“It was an outlet for me. I needed something to do, and it was a lot of fun,” Conly told the Advocate.

Though she had not ventured into painting or art before, the mural was a surface design, similar to what she did with her textile business, the Advocate reports.

Conly and another Lakewood Elementary School mom, Lauren Harrison, spent about six hours a day painting the wall. During the painting process, people in the neighborhood would stop by to chat about the project.

“It motivates you to keep going because obviously, it means a lot to the neighborhood,” Conly told the Advocate. “It’s on a well-traveled walking path.”

The project was funded through Friends of Lakewood, an organization of dads dedicated to enhancing students’ educational experience at Lakewood Elementary School.

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4 months ago

Very nice article, reflecting the community volunteerism of the Lakewood neighborhood. But, the street listed as Vanderbilt, is actually Wendover Road.

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