Pegasus students are painting the future of their program through a new legacy project. With the help of art teacher Michael Hollick, Pegasus students set out to create a mural that all current and future Pegasus students will have a hand in.
The project started when a student saw the work of a peer in the Resilience Academy who is creating a mural for the school, and inquired about the possibility of doing something similar. Hollick was immediately on board, and so were the Pegasus teachers and Principal Kiesha Tillman.
The mural includes the infinity sign which represents autism awareness, a rainbow within the infinity representing the diversity of neurodivergent individuals, and a blue background representing the color of the Pegasus program. Additional elements were inspired by Pegasus students’ artwork.
“I brought it to the students and put out papers with the infinity symbol sketched out and asked them to work collaboratively and individually. They sketched dozens of different designs, and from there we incorporated their favorite parts into the final sketch,” shared Hollick. Some elements contributed by the students include flowers, geometric shapes, wavy lines, and Poké Balls.
This design is not set in stone. As the students work on the mural, and new ideas come up, they are often incorporated into the design. “We’re trying to honor their choices and individuality as this comes together,” Hollick said.
“Art is my favorite class. I worked on the bottom section of the mural and the figure 8, but working on the bottom was my favorite part,” shared Dylan Paraszti. He shared that he enjoys seeing the mural come together reflecting the draft Mr. Hollick made, and that creating a mural together makes him feel like part of a community. “I like painting, and I am good at drawing,” Paraszti added. “I can do anything I put my mind to.”

In addition to painting the mural, students learned about the history of murals and sign language relating to murals and paint.
“Pegasus students like all students learn in different ways. Some are nonverbal or hearing impaired. I like to create an inclusive environment where every variety of learner can succeed,” shared Hollick. “A part of that is connecting art to American Sign Language (ASL). Whenever we do a new lesson, we learn the signs that go with it. I find this really helps connect physical action to memory and that creates an enduring understanding.”

The final addition to the mural will be a hand print from each student within the infinity sign. Future students in the Pegasus program will add their hand as well. The mural will be placed in a central location to the Pegasus classrooms for students to enjoy on a daily basis.

“This is their first year participating in art classes. I think this is a great way to start things off and give them an exciting end to the year,” said Hollick. “I hope it gives them a sense of ownership in the school and in this space.”