A Canopy Of Dreams: The Orange Blossom Mural


Art and Music | Blog | Live life, love learning

September 14, 2023

The story behind the mural

Now that the new school year has started, I am truly humbled to share a recent project that brought a touch of vibrancy and meaning to Cologne International School’s entrance – a mural that I had the honor of envisioning and painting. This mural holds a story that captures the spirit of our school’s values, celebrating the joy of learning and the diversity within our community.

Two weeks of contemplation and inspiration led me to design a visual story that I felt would reflect the identity of our school… A scenic orange blossom tree, filled with symbolism and meaning.

Mural Makayla

The tree swing, hanging from one of the branches, is a powerful representation of the joy of learning. It serves as a reminder that education is not just about grades and exams, but an exciting, rewarding, and enjoyable journey – just like how swinging on a swing is fun, the pursuit of knowledge is just as rewarding. It represents the idea that learning goes beyond grades, emphasizing the fulfillment and delight in acquiring knowledge. Additionally, the orange tree signifies growth, learning, and the school’s dedication to education. Its branches symbolize student growth, while the leaves represent their achievements.

In this colorful painting, the orange fruits hold a significant message, symbolizing the diversity and inclusivity within our school community. Just like the varying shapes and sizes of the fruits, the teachers and students who are a part of the school come from many backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. The fruits also remind us of the rewards that come with hard work and the potential for success that lies within each and every student.


The orange blossoms adorning the tree show the limitless creativity and innovation that thrive within our student body. As they bloom with uniqueness and originality, the blossoms signify the school’s commitment to fostering creativity and empowering each student to explore their talents and passions no matter what they may be.

Hidden gracefully amidst the scenery are two birds, representing curiosity and exploration. These feathered symbols remind us to embrace our natural curiosity, and to soar high in the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. The joy of discovery lies at the heart of education, and these birds inspire us to seek new horizons without fear. Can you find them?

Mural Makayla
Mural Makayla

Mural as a timeless reminder of the joy of learning

Mural Makayla

For me, painting this mural was a journey of dedication and boundless enthusiasm. The vivid hues of yellow and orange are intentional, and aim to spark emotions of  happiness and joy – just like the feelings that come with learning and accomplishing new tasks. 

As the days turned into weeks, I put my all into each stroke, hoping that the mural would welcome everyone with its warm and meaningful embrace bringing smiles and inspiration to all who see it.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the visual identity of Cologne International School. As a 16-year-old student, this experience has been impactful, and taught me the power of artful expression and its ability to communicate values and emotions. I hope that the mural becomes a timeless reminder of the joy of learning, the celebration of diversity, and the boundless potential of all our students and staff. May it stand as a testament to the values we hold dear, and serve as a source of inspiration for others to create.

Let us cherish the joy of learning, embrace curiosity, and celebrate the diverse community that makes Cologne International School a place of endless possibilities!

I extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Stolle for granting me this opportunity, to Ms. Di Nunzio for teaching me the techniques, and to everyone who supported and contributed to making this mural possible.Your combined efforts have brought joy and inspiration to this artwork. Thank you all!

Written by Makayla Ogunsemore, student of Cologne International School 2022/23

Photos: Tatjana Zaric, Cologne International School

Find out more about our mission and vision.

The creation of the first mural at Cologne International School