The Happy Mural Project mural included a lion’s head for Winthrop Charter School.

Bright, painted sunflowers and a colorful lion’s head brought a pop of color to Winthrop Charter School.

At the beginning of January, the Winthrop community came together to complete a paint-by-number mural designed by Happy Mural Project artist Alyssa Marie. The two-day project hosted students, parents, faculty and neighbors to fill in the mural.

“I started The Happy Mural Project in 2020 as an effort to just inspire more joy across the globe through larger-than-life sunflowers painted on walls,” Marie said.

PTC Mural Chair Randi Wagner, who participated in painting a mural when she was younger, brought the idea up a year and a half ago.

“I just loved what The Happy Mural Project stood for: inspiring others and just making beautiful art, something you can drive by that puts a smile on your face and it lasts a long time,” Wagner said.

Wagner still drives by the mural she helped paint and is reminded of the pride of contributing to the project she felt as a child. She wanted her daughter to have the same opportunity to leave her mark on the community through Winthrop Charter School.

Within the first hour of the project being open, Wagner said the wall was filled with community painters.

“It was hard to find room on the wall where you could kind of squeeze in to put some paint on it,” Wagner said.

Marie customized the mural to include a colorful lion’s head to represent Winthrop Charter’s mascot and a symbol found in the Winthrop community.

“With each brush stroke, Winthrop’s learning community embraced the arts and created an impactful experience,” Principal Terry Johnson said.

Marie had the opportunity to work with the children and tell her story as an artist. Wagner said the students were inspired by her story and seeing the passion she has for The Happy Mural Project.

Sunflowers were included in each mural because Marie’s favorite color is yellow and sunflowers remind people of joy and beauty.

For more information on the Happy Mural Project or to submit your wall for a mural, visit

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.