Arts & CultureArts & Culture Features

Photo Essay: Broderick Flanigan Leads Youth Mural Project at Hilsman Middle School

Local artist Broderick Flanigan recently completed his second project for a youth mural program he launched this year. To commemorate the annual MLK Day of Service in January, Flanigan covered a wall in his childhood neighborhood—the East Athens Triangle Plaza—with vibrant colors and stunning portraits of civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Flanigan’s newest mural depicts Hilsman Middle School, which he attended and which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. For the project, he worked closely with his former art teacher, Starr Campbell, as well as current students. The artist illustrated portraits of his old principal and homeroom teachers, then added students into the foreground based on a sketch by Campbell.

The mural also pictures images of the chess pieces Flanigan uses to instruct youth through Chess and Community, a local nonprofit that teaches kids to “think before you move.”


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Adarrius Taylor, a seventh-grader, works on shading details of a knight chess piece. Taylor learned how to play chess through Chess and Community.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Michael Niedzwiecki-Castile, a sixth-grader, gets ready to start painting. “With Ms. Campbell leaving this year, getting to work on this was really an honor—just to be part of something that’s going to be around for years,” he says.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Ansley Guntermann, an eighth-grader, jokes with a classmate while working on the mural.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Kacie Banks, a seventh-grader, works with Hilsman art teacher Starr Campbell on the mural.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Flanigan shows Guntermann his old Hilsman yearbook. Flanigan used yearbook photos as references for the five portraits he painted on the mural.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Flanigan gets to work on the second-to-last day of painting.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Eighth-graders Madison Pastero, left, and Guntermann work on the mural.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Former Hilsman principal Patricia Clifton hugs Flanigan after the unveiling ceremony.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

Campbell hugs Pastero after the unveiling of the mural.