Mobile Mural Tells KISD Story

We Are KISD Art Piece
By: Todd Martin
Over the summer, a group of Killeen ISD art teachers created a stunning art piece that simultaneously tells a visual history while honoring school district staff members and students.
The large letters that spell out “We Are KISD” made its debut at the school district’s convocation, welcoming 7,000-plus employees inside the front entrance of the Bell County Expo Center.
Fine Arts Director Karen Herrera explained the mural’s message and praised the artists for their time and creativity. The portable exhibit will likely appear at events throughout the year, including the annual visual art show at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
On the upper portion of the final letter – D - an artists’ statement explains the piece and below it is the list of artists’ names and their schools.
The artists are Michelle Newton of Ellison High School, Angela Morales of Nolan Middle School, Ashley Watts of Manor Middle School and Miranda Meyer and Joshua Meyer of Smith Middle School.
This mural represents KISD and all that “WE ARE.”
Each letter and each word contains specific meaning.
KISD art teachers chose to portray every aspect of what makes the district operate – a diverse student body filled with individuals who’ve traveled from all parts of the world to get here …
The word “WE” contains portraits of students – actual KISD students, boys and girls of different ages and ethnic backgrounds, culled from KISD photos on the website and social media. If you look closely, you just might recognize someone!
“Each letter represents something different about our district,” said Watts. “I like how each individual representation came together so well as a piece of the puzzle and how colorful the entire piece is.”
The word “ARE” defines KISD geographically.
The “A” contains elements of the Army, including the familiar 1st Cavalry Division shield. The “E” contains elements of the state of Texas, the flag and bluebonnets, as well as a train that connects it to the “R,” which shows elements of Killeen and its place in the world.
Nolan art teacher Angela Morales actually painted her husband, a soldier. “My favorite is the one about our military,” she said. “The fact that I had the chance to paint my husband on the letter made it more special.”
The letters “KISD” each pay homage to aspects of the school district.
The “K” shows fine arts. The “I” includes the five high school mascots. The “S” shows academic elements. The “D” shows extra-curricular images, mainly athletics and Junior ROTC.
Don’t forget to notice the back of the nine letters. There’s much more.
The backside of the “KISD” letters display elements of buses, crossing guards, nurses, cafeteria workers and custodians. “My favorite part is the backside where the departments are represented,” said Joshua Meyer. “The people that work for KISD have the most influence on how it is perceived.”
The back of the “ARE” celebrates special education, paraprofessionals and librarians.
The back of the “WE” shows elements of technology, the KISD seal and the Board of Trustees.
The task of building the letters and accomplishing the creative vision as a group was an exercise in collaboration, much like the broad message of the acrylic mural itself.
Teachers took three days to trace and cut the 4-foot-high plywood shapes. “The artwork was the greatest endeavor and I am most proud of everyone that saw it through to the end,” Joshua Meyer, the head builder, said.
“I think it turned out awesome,” said Morales. “It took us a long time and a lot of thinking and planning to get the ideas together. There were four of us with different points of view, but I think at the end it worked out perfectly.”
“We put our heart and soul into each brushstroke and it paid off,” said Newton. “We became a family unit. We spent so much time together and we worked great as a team.”
Although we could not depict the countless unseen hands that go into the operation of our district we appreciate you and all that you do! #WEAREKISD