Beautiful Mural Unveiled During School Assembly


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The beautiful mural that Art created for our school, and it is now on the stage.

He’s 89-year-old, and Art Dahlstrand – Tucson Country Day School’s President, CEO and Founder Richard Cooper’s brother – may dabble in art as a hobby, but he certainly has an amazing talent for this hobby of his. When asked to create a giant 12-foot by 25-foot mural to be placed permanently on the stage at Tucson Country Day School, Art eagerly volunteered.

Dahlstrand has been a part of many projects at TCDS throughout the years. He has been working on this masterpiece since October and finished only a few weeks ago. On March 18, he was excited to unveil his amazing project to hundreds of students, teachers, staff and about 2-dozen fellow retirees from Art’s retirement community who were chauffeured to the school to view Art’s impressive work.

What an awe-inspiring moment it was for all of us as the huge tarp covering the mural was pulled up to display the beautiful scene behind it. Students, staff and friends cheered and clapped as they saw the mural for the first time. 

Art traveled the approximately 24-miles at least three days each week from his Northwest retirement community to our school to work on the mural. Art spent six to seven hours a day painting during each visit.

 To produce the giant mural, Art first sketched a drawing of the desert-themed scene. Next, he divided his drawing into grids. He then painted the mural in small sections – working with 4×8 pieces allowing him to create one piece of the mural at a time. Dedicated to his artwork, Art often could be seen working on a table on his hands and knees, adding intricate details to the mural.

Each section of the mural was recently pieced together and mounted on the stage of Tucson Country Day School.

The colorful mural consists of a view from the school facing the Santa Catalina Mountains, which are in the background along with a hot-air balloon and birds flying over. In the foreground are beautifully-detailed cacti, shrubs, bushes and desert animals including quail and prairie dogs. Also in the mural is the school’s grassy soccer field, with a variety of colors that spell the letters TCDS, short for Tucson Country Day School. “Home of the Champions” is also placed on the mural – popping out to add depth. On the sides of the mural are the American and Arizona flags.

Art only took one or two painting classes when he was young. Since then, he’s taught himself everything he knows when it comes to painting.

 Thank  you so much Art for your amazing dedication and talent to our school! We will enjoy the mural everyday, and we appreciate all that you do for Tucson Country Day Schol.

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Our school welcomed Art’s friends, who he invited to see the mural he painted.

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A tarp covered the mural so that students, staff and first could see the mural at the same time.

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Art’s friends came to school to see the mural.

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Dr. Saliba talked about the mural and Art’s work to paint it.

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Several students recited the Champion Pledge in the microphone while others said it too.

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A few eighth graders talked about what it means to them to be a Champion.

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Mrs. Kappler talked about the process of Art’s artwork.

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Mr. Richard discussed his brother Art and his painting skills.

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Mr. Richard and Art

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This is the first painting that Art did.

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Art is very talented. This is his first painting he did when he was younger.

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Mr. Richard presented Art with a plaque that thanked him for his dedication to the mural as well as a picture of Art standing by the mural.

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This is the beautiful mural Art painted.

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Students, staff and Art’s friends clapped for Art’s impressive mural that he made.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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All of the students thanked Art by performing a dance to the song “Roar”.

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Students cheered and clapped for Art.

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The beautiful mural that now stands on the Tucson Country Day School stage.

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Art talked to the students about his mural and making his mural.

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The students gave Art a standing ovation.

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Art posed with the mural he painted.

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Mr. Richard, Art and Mr. Loren posed by the incredible mural.

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Mr. Richard and Art posed in front of the mural.

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The mural that Art created is now on the stage at school.