Tape Murals

Jahzelle Ford and Leanna Bobadilla

The last semester of the 2018-2019 school year was the first time Carbajal had assigned the tape murals, large pieces of art composed completely of tape, and will once again be assigning them. Her intermediate drawing students and this time Mrs. Puentes advanced art design students work to beautify the Downey High School Campus with their tape murals in the J building. This semester’s murals have been completed by the students, leaving them able to reflect on the experience.


The idea for the tape murals originated from a Pinterest post. Carbajal feels the assignment is beneficial for students because the students get to try a new medium and explore their capabilities. 


Carbajal split her class in two and assigns it to each half during a different semester. Students got to choose their own groups and can work in groups up to five, the minimum group size being two. According to Carbajal, working in groups was stressful for students but helped some learn to compromise. Anisa Chacon, sophomore, and Diana Curiel, sophomore, paired up this semester to work on their mural.


Curiel and Chacon chose to draw two faces splitting apart for their mural, they took inspiration from a pinterest post and made it their own. When they worked on sketching their mural on the wall, Curiel and Chacon worked together on different aspects of the faces depending on their own strengths. Neither of them had ever worked on such a large scale before so these murals were a new challenge for the girls.


“It is kinda difficult,” Curiel stated, “ using tape to make curved edges and even making thin lines is a challenged .”


After they had done their mural and learned how to work with tape and on such a large scale, the girls know the difficulties of this art form. If given another chance to work on a tape mural, the girls say they would choose to make the subject something more geometric because the tape is good for lines rather than curves. They were able to achieve the curves they drew out by using many smaller pieces of tape rather than trying to curve one long strip. Despite the difficulties, Chacon and Curiel enjoy the work.


Downey vikings show their school spirit and pride in a number of ways. For the art students, decorating the campus with their art is their way of showing appreciation. 


“I’m glad I get to be a part of showing school spirit,” Chacon said, “and art can be my way of expressing it.”


 The murals proudly displayed in the J building do more than just make the campus more pleasing, the art program is trying to get itself and the artists involved more recognition for their hard work. Carbajal feels that they do not always get the attention that they should for the hard work they do.


“I just wanted our students artwork to get more exposure and for the program to get more exposure.” Carbajal stated. “It can be stressful because they have to work together and it can be harder to see eye to eye.”


Putting up these large pieces of art made by the students allows for their art to get attention which it may not get often. Those who wish to view the murals can do so by visiting the J building on campus.