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East Alum Artist Helping Students with Mural

photo of Dylan Bonner and students

Partnering with the Middle School PTO and the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library, the Foundation was pleased to fund a grant request for an exciting art installation project for our middle school students .

This is a unique opportunity to gain two murals in our community. One mural will be installed in the hallway at East Grand Rapids Middle School, and the companion mural will be installed in the “Teen Zone” of the East Grand Rapids Branch of the Kent District Library. This project will engage students in grades 6, 7, and 8 in a hands-on, creative collaboration under the guidance of East alum Dylan Bonner. Bonner has carved out a successful career as a freelance illustrator whose main client is Disney. He has also been a guest artist multiple times in the middle school art room as well as volunteering as an artist at the Harry Potter Yule Ball and working one on one with students through private art lessons. 

By working alongside Bonner, students will have the opportunity to explore their creative potential, learn new artistic techniques, and express their ideas and imaginations. Students will gain insights into the practical applications of art, the process of conceptualizing and executing large-scale artworks, and the career pathways available in the visual arts. Working with an alum who has achieved significant success serves as a powerful source of inspiration and motivation for students. It highlights the potential success that can be achieved through dedication, education, and pursuing one's passions.

The art installations are scheduled for June 2024. Bonner is working with students to design individual pieces of each mural. He also stopped in during the 5th grade transition day in April. He discussed the upcoming project and helped the 5th graders with their parts of the mural.