Bloomington Street Head Start Preschool Mural - CODAworx

Bloomington Street Head Start Preschool Mural

Submitted by Thomas Agran

Client: Bloomington Head Start Preschool HACAP

Location: Iowa City, IA, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team

Design and Execution

Thomas Agran

Artistic Collaboration and Execution

Sayuri Sasaki Hemann


This joyful and child oriented mural was designed through collaboration with the students and teachers at Bloomington Street Head Start Preschool. Funded by a small grant and done as a gift to the children, families, and staff at the Bloomington Street Head Start Preschool. Designed as informed by an engagement project with the children, the mural embodies a youthful spirit and energy, and is painted with subtle illusionism to look just like the cut paper collage that inspired it. The mural is approximately 16’x100’ and was designed in collaboration with artist Sayuri Sasaki Hemann.


An income qualified child center, this bunker of a building in no way reflected the spirit of those who spend time in it. The mural was designed to enliven the building and bring the inside out, welcoming children, families, and teachers, to a place that better celebrates the use of the building and reduces socioeconomic stigma.


Coloring sheets of the building were given to children and teachers in the building, and they were asked, "if your building could look any way you'd like, how would it look?" The energy of those drawings was used to develop cut paper collages used as the references for the mural. Originally envisioned to have participation by the students and families, COVID-19 upended that, and the project was executed by the artist with help from friends from the neighborhood excited to see the building transform.