YouTube has delivered again! I came across this video on the site recently. It's a news report from KELO-TV's Eugenia Hartig from 1968 about the (then) new mural in the hallway of Cleveland Elementary in Sioux Falls.

The mural, titled Portrait of a Nation, was made from bits of floor tile, mirrors, and other stuff that the students had brought from home. The project was lead by Cleveland art teacher Carol Hanson. As Hanson says in the piece, the project started with a contest among Cleveland students to submit a design of a picture of America. Parts of the drawing chosen were then incorporated into the mural that the students made. Mrs. Hanson says that they used about 17 quarts of glue to make the mural.

Along with the recycled floor tile, the mural contains pieces donated by the school staff. A whistle from the gym teacher Mr. Byer, a tie-tac from principal Howard Swenson, earrings from Miss Nichols the assistant principal, and a piece for jewelry from teacher Mrs. Tally.

Cleveland Elementary was established on the east side of Sioux Falls in 1957. In the video Mrs. Hanson says that they hope that the mural will stand for 20 or 30 years. As of 2017, 49 years later, it is still there inspiring generations of Sioux Falls students.


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