After working as an after-school arts instructor for several years, Kamelia Hristeva recognized that not only were students in underserved areas eager for meaningful opportunities to be creative, but the school buildings themselves and the neighborhoods they were in were often uninspiring, unattractive, and neglected. From this starting point, the idea for Green Star Movement, an organization that would transform and inspire students and communities through the creation of public art, was born. This interactive process builds teamwork and self esteem in participants and revitalizes urban neighborhoods.
Since their founding in 2005, Green Star Movement has provided more than 10,000 students with mural arts programming and successfully transformed the interiors and exteriors of over 140 public spaces, including schools, parks, community centers and underpasses.
Seeking a Partner for a Mobile Mural
Kamelia, founder and now CEO of Green Star Movement, felt that displaying the organization’s work on their plain white van would be a great way to establish a presence in the neighborhoods. After researching a number of companies online, she and her staff were not impressed. “Being artists ourselves, we wanted to work with a company that spoke our language and could translate our vision to the van,” she said. ‘The visuals on the websites didn’t inspire us.”
By chance, Kamelia saw a van with a vinyl wrap that did impress her. Some detective work led her to their home office, where she was told that ER2 had done the work. “One look at ER2’s portfolio on their website convinced us we could work with them.”
Putting Murals into Motion
The graphics for the van were unique in that they came from images of actual murals already in place throughout the city. These were initially designed by students or community members.
ER2 Designer Dan Gray collaborated with the original artists to pull the artwork into a layout that would work best for a vinyl wrap. As he tells it, “This was a fun project to work on. I looked at Green Star’s murals and was immediately impressed with the quality and scope of artwork – but what really stood out was the level of detail that went into each piece. When I spoke to Kamelia about the design, I suggested showing portions of several images up close and large on the sides of the van rather than showcase one complete image.
The small pieces told a wider overall story and I thought there was something really awesome about that. In the digital industry I work in, the closer you zoom into the image, the more pixelated and unappealing it gets – you lose sight of the bigger picture. But with Green Star Movement’s work, the closer you get, the more beauty is revealed. I wanted people to see that in the design and be like, ‘Isn’t this cool?’
“After our discussion I came up with a design that we were both happy with. A few tweaks here and there and we had it! The only challenge after that was deciding on what images to use. That was tough, but they were all so great I don’t think there could have been a wrong decision.”
After approval, the graphics were printed on an HP Scitex LX850 on 3M Control Pak high performance 180-10 gloss laminate film to protect and extend the life of the graphics.
Laura Petersen, Account Executive for ER2, said, “Kamelia took advantage of one of the ‘full-service’ offerings from ER2 – pick-up and delivery of the van before and after installation. Two of our Installers, Alex Flores and Angel Lopez, provided these services.”
Since the work was done on location at ER2, there were several 3M Certified Installers available to work on the project for a fast, one-day turnaround. This was important because, between the staff and artists, the van is constantly in use.
“Everyone at ER2 was totally focused on customer service and making sure we were satisfied with the process and the final result,” Kamelia noted. “They even adjusted their schedule when we had to fix a small dent before the wrap could be applied.”
A Traveling Ambassador
Green Star Movement’s vision statement is to create public art throughout the world that connects youth and builds community. Everyone at the Green Star Movement agreed that the finished wrap reflected that ideal. “The artistry and attention to detail were everything we had hoped for,” Kamelia confirmed.
“While we do a lot of vehicle wraps, it was very gratifying to work with a non-profit company who uses art to beautify, communicate and inspire, which is a lot like what we do,” Laura commented.
According to Kamila, “People get really excited when we pull up with our colorful new look instead of a random white van. The artists who designed the original murals are thrilled that their work is being displayed, not just in its original location, but around the city as well.”
Whether your graphics needs are commercial, artistic or somewhere in between, please contact us and we’ll work together to bring your vision to life.