ocean mural with fish, turtles, sharks, kelp

Students’ Murals Foster Community at Family Shelter

sketch showing sea life

The murals will be painted inside two main stairwells, and will feature five-story images of a forest and full aquatic biosphere that will showcase the biological diversity that California has to offer (School of Art and Design image).

By Ryan Whitchurch, Public Affairs Assistant

The San Jose Family Shelter is teaming up with the School of Art and Design to provide 35 families with a better sense of home and community.

A group of fine arts graduate students known as the “Dirty Brushes” is in the process of creating a pair of murals inside the shelter’s new facility two blocks from its existing site near Las Plumas Avenue and North King Road in San Jose.

“Working with the artists allows us to provide much needed supportive services in a comforting and welcoming setting to our residents while giving the students real-world experience in their chosen field of study,” said Chloe Shipp, development coordinator for San Jose’s Family Supportive Housing Inc.

The San Jose Family Shelter provides temporary housing and counseling services for families while parents look for work and permanent residences.

The murals will be painted inside two main stairwells, and will feature five-story images of a forest and full aquatic biosphere that will showcase the biological diversity that California has to offer.

exterior of apartments under construction

The San Jose Family Shelter provides temporary housing and counseling services (San Jose Family Shelter image).

The forest mural will start on the first floor with the forest floor, and work its way up through the trees into the sky as it approaches the top floor.

Likewise, the aquatic biosphere mural will begin with the deep ocean on the bottom floor, and work its way up to tide pools and shoreline.

The “Dirty Brushes” began by creating sketches of their plans. After the sketches are approved, the students will start painting. The San Jose Family Shelter plans to open their new location this April, funded by community donors.

The shelter partners with many more Spartans.Nursing students are developing a health and nutrition curriculum for children at the shelter, and occupational therapy students host various workshops depending on the time of year, such as a summer camp for seven to 12-year-olds.

Check out the San Jose Family Shelter’s website to find out how you can get involved or donate to the mural project.