Family Activity Inspired by Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez's Welcome Wall

Whether it’s to celebrate the start of the school year, or just to make others feel happy, let’s say "welcome" to our community!

In this activity you will create a poster inspired by Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez's collaborative community mural Welcome Wall that you can hang in your window for all to see. With bright colors, patterns, and shapes, your word collage will remind everyone around that they are welcome.

Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez's Welcome Wall, 2017, at 751 Fillmore Avenue. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Getting Started

  • What has someone said to you that made you feel good?
  • What words could we say to make someone else feel welcome?
  • How many patterns can you find? You can look for inspiration in your house or outside.


  • A few sheets of paper (use big paper if you want a big poster)
  • Glue (a glue stick works best)
  • Scissors
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Optional: Ruler, objects to trace, tape

Artmaking Activity

1. Take a piece of paper and draw some large shapes to fill up the whole page using whatever drawing materials and colors you choose. Experiment with your lines: They can be thick or thin, straight, curved, or zig zag. You can use a ruler to create geometric shapes or trace around objects in your home.

2. Next, color in some, or all, of your shapes.

3. Then, add patterns and lines inside some, or all, of your shapes.

4. Now, think of what words you want to include on your poster. Will you use one word like in the Welcome Wall, or will you choose multiple words? You could also include a phrase like “you are special.”

5. Write out all of the words you want to incorporate into your poster down on another piece of paper. You can make the words different sizes, colors, and styles to add variety.

6. Once you are done writing down the words you want to use, carefully cut them out with your scissors.

7. Lay the paper full of shapes and patterns down on a flat surface and arrange all of the words you cut out on top. Try moving them around to find the way that looks best to you and then glue them down in place.

8. Finally, tape your poster up in a window, or share it with whoever you want to feel welcome!

Optional: Share your creation on Twitter or Instagram with #AlbrightKnox and #MuseumFromHome!


Language: the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way

Mural: a painting or other work of art executed directly on a wall

Community: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common

Collaboration: the action of working with someone to produce or create something

Welcome: a word used to greet someone in a glad or friendly way

Make your poster more accessible to your community by incorporating some of these common languages spoken in Buffalo!

Translations for the word welcome:

Arabic: أهلا بك
Bengali: স্বাগত
Burmese: ကြိုဆိုပါတယ်
Nepali: स्वागतम्
Somali: soo dhawow
Swahili: karibu
Spanish: feminine: bienvenidas; masculine: bienvenidos
Urdu: خوش آمدید
Vietnamese: chào mừng