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Living with Murals

A personal story from our Director or Education at the Beautify Earth Non-Profit

When I was a kid my grandmother moved into a very humble, tiny house. I remember my father bought a few gallons of paint: soothing light blue and light green. My family and I painted the interior and exterior of the small house in one day. The property was transformed and so was my grandmother, the new paint job made her incredibly happy!

That’s why I love my job at Beautify Earth! Along with help from very talented muralists, we beautify schools with paint and enormous amounts of love. I’ve been part of this non-profit organization for over four years. I started as a volunteer and two years ago was offered the role of Director of Education to connect artists with public schools and create beautiful murals. From the years of experiencing the power of murals, I thought I understood their impact in the world, especially at schools, but I didn't quite know to what degree until I started living with several murals on the walls of my home.

Ruben Rojas, Evan Meyer and Marcel 'Sel' Blanco are three of my favorite muralists and I feel so fortunate they agreed to create these beautiful murals for me and my family to enjoy every day.

“I love having the murals at the house for all their color and positive messages. Sometimes I get a little too used to them but a new person inevitably comes to the house, sees them and their reaction always reboots my love for them”, said my husband Kenli Mattus, who keeps encouraging me to add more murals to the yard. At this rate, we’ll run out of walls so we might have to add some on the floor!

Every time I walk by one of these walls, I can’t help but smile and remember how much love and work the artists put into it. I can feel their creative energy, their love is still vibrating through their art and it moves me every time.

I’ve always been intrigued by the effect of colors and art on people, now I’ve witnessed their power first hand: They make me happy! They change me every day! Just like my grandmother's painted house changed her.

Looking back on that experience, I realize my grandmother’s house showed me transformation was possible. I thought that, if painting those walls made me feel different, maybe changing my environment could be easier than I thought and transforming the way I felt too.

I see it with so many kids after we paint a mural at their school, they say “The school became alive. Before it felt dead.” “Art showed me I can’t get it wrong because there’s no right or wrong in art.” Students see themselves reflected in those walls.

This is why we feel passionate about beautifying schools: Without a doubt, art heals us and colors enliven us!

- Daniela Torres Mattus (Director of Education)

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