'Inside Out' mural transforms messages of personal identity into work of art

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Teachers and students from Sunnyside High School got to help finish a massive mural in downtown Fresno.

It's part of something called--the Inside Out Project. They go from city to city taking huge portraits of people to be pasted up on a wall.

However, the group did not have time to complete it.

"I believe sincerely that art can change lives. It changes my student's lives. It's changed my life," said Digital Photography and Marketing Teacher Tamela Ryatt.

The Inside Out Project rolled through Fresno a couple weeks ago. It is about giving everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and express what they stand for.

This stop was also to encourage people to register to vote, getting the word out, your voice matters.
Ryatt is a huge fan of the movement that was started by French artist JR.

"It makes us realize that everyone is beautiful. There is no Photoshop. There is no sweet soft lighting. These are just beautiful images of beautiful people," said Ryatt.

Ryatt and her students were actually inspired by the Inside Out Project and for the past couple of years have worked to paste up images of students around campus.

While the Inside Out crew was in town, students got to meet them and worked alongside them--making the mural on the backside of the Historic Crest Theatre.

"They taught us a bunch of skills that hopefully we can use in our mural project," said student Enrique Villanueva.
Dozens of portraits did not make it up on the wall because the crew was onto their next city.

However, Ryatt and her students were not going to let those images go to waste.

So they decided to finish it.

"I became a part of the project and that's what made me feel attached to it and both special and that's what made me grow to love this project," said Alcaraz.

The mural is not permanent but will be up for weeks to months depending on the weather.
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