Scher’s school project

A pair of huge typographic murals by Pentagram’s Paula Scher form the centrepiece of two new schools in Queens, New York

Photo: Ian Roberts

A pair of huge typographic murals by Pentagram‘s Paula Scher form the centrepiece of two new schools in Queens, New York

Photo: Ian Roberts

Scher has been working for some time on a series of large-scale map paintings and prints. Under the auspices of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art programme, which funds artists to create permanent public artworks in municipal buildings and spaces, Scher was commissioned to create the murals for the two schools of the Queens Metropolitan Campus in the city’s Forest Hills area.

Photo: Ian Roberts

Each mural covers approximately 2,430 square feet. The first, shown here, is a map of the New York metropolitan region.

Scher’s original painting (top) and the artist standing with it in the studio of Michael Imlay. Photos: Ian Roberts

Scher originally painted the map at an eight feet by six feet scale in three pieces. To enlarge the image for the mural, Scher worked with Michael Imlay, a painter based in Brooklyn.

Scher and Imlay with one of the boards that are pieced together to form the mural. Photo: Ian Roberts

At his studio, Imlay and his team projected the painting onto a series of panels and repainted the enlarged image. The finished mural consists of over 100 of these panels, some in odd sizes to fit into the atrium’s corners and around its windows and other fixtures.

Projecting the original image to be copied onto boards

Some of the finished boards for the mural. Photos: Ian Roberts

An exploded view of how the boards fit into the space


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