Local artist paints mural at Southeast Elementary

In an effort to brighten up the school, Southeast Elementary School PTO President Jana Hall approached local artist Cindy Brooks with a novel idea — a storybook mural in the main hallway of the school. Brooks was approached in January of this year to paint a whimsical mural for the students, staff and visitors of Southeast Elementary to enjoy. The theme the PTO members came up with is "Where Your Story Begins." The three week project, funded by last year's PTO fundraisers, was finished just in time for Meet the Teacher last month and has been a talking point ever since. "I'm so grateful they asked me to do this project," said Brooks. " I love the kids and I love this school. I hope to do more murals in the future." Brooks, who is originally from Houston, has been painting murals since she was 17 years old. "I took two years of art school, but I'm mainly self-taught," Brooks said of her art career. Her first mural, a wildflower garden, was painted during her senior year of high school and she did many more throughout the years. In Sweetwater, more of her work can be seen at Lisa's Cocina. Along with murals, Brooks also does face painting at Southeast's Fall Festival. "I like to dress up in full costume when I do face painting. And I let the kids pick what they want on their face," Brooks said. She is also available for birthday parties and other fun events and can be reached at 236-3065. Also, visit her on facebook at www.facebook.com/cindy.c.brooks.3.