Dearborn students paint mural for POP 4 project

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Purple, orange, yellow, blue, green and red began to fill the white wall on the side of The Fish Market, 4355 Schaefer Road, as the Pockets of Perception Team 4 painted their new mural.

The mural combines inspiration from the Rouge River and environment with a fish swimming in water along with inspiration from time with the inclusion of gears.

Students first suggested themes for the mural, then picked a theme and drew 20 thumbnail sketches of their ideas before a final design was created.

Twelve students worked to create designs for the mural in two groups which they decided to combine into one by overlapping the illustrations.

“The students placed their designs over each other on a projector and it just worked,” POP Team Co-Director Mohamad S. Bazzi said. “This is what the projects are about, bringing kids together to do pop art and getting to know each other.

Each year, the Dearborn Community Fund accepts applications for its next POP project which are open to all public and private high schools in Dearborn.

The Dearborn Public Schools students part of the POP Team 4 project are Karem Nasser, Manal Said, Nawal Said, Georgia Ziegler, Nathan Rudolph, Mohammed Hassan Sukayna Davanzo, Amar Haidar and Isabella Hall. Students will earn a stipend following the completion of their work on the mural.

Nassar, a junior at Dearborn High School, said he joined the POP 4 Team because he wanted to do something “awesome” and enjoys painting.

“I’ve never done something like this or this big before,” he said. “I usually work alone so working with a group has been a different experience, but one that I’ve enjoyed.”

Edsel Ford High School juniors and sisters, Manal and Nawal Said both cited trying something new as their reason for applying the POP Team 4.

“My favorite part has been seeing all our planning from the beginning come to life,” Manal said. “We started with an idea on paper and now its a full mural on a building.”

DCF Executive Director EmmaJean Woodyard said Fish Market owner Howard Pingston approached the DCF about having the mural painted at his business.

“These POP projects would not be possible without the city, artists, school district, community fund and businesses coming together,” Woodyard said. “We want to continue adding art including more murals in our community.”

Dearborn resident Aimee Chorkey lives nearby the Fish Market and decided to join the students to help paint on June 28.

“Adults should get involved with more students or children in our community,” Chorkey said. “Art in our city or any city. The mural is beautiful and I think the more murals, the better.”

POP Team Co-Director Sunshine Durant expressed the same sentiment as Chorkey.

“I enjoy teaching the community about art and showing students that art is a career field they can explore,” she said. “We’ve had students who have completed previous POP Team projects get into and graduate from creative colleges.”

The POP Team 4 sponsors are the Ford Motor Co. Fund, East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority, Kosch Family Fund and individual sponsors.

Previous completed POP projects are two complementary stainless steel sculptures in Dearborn City Hall Park and West Dearborn Pocket Park, a mosaic mural at the John D. Dingell Transit Center, a sculpture made from the original doors from the former city hall building which is on display at the Artspace City Hall Lofts.

To learn more about the POP projects or to donate go to

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at