“The Last Supper”: Story of HS Humanities Classroom Mural | by Joshua Berman


The Last Supper: Hikaru Miyakawa’s TEDxBoulder talk tells the story behind mural in SMWS High School Humanities classroom

Hikaru begins telling the story of the mural he painted at Shining Mountain Waldorf School at 4:40.

The original Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci on a wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, from 1495 to 1498. Exactly 500 years later, Hikaru Miyakawa, the 9th-grade art history teacher at Shining Mountain Waldorf School, painted a replica in the humanities classroom in the high school.

“This might sound strange or weird or odd to you,” he told a sold-out crowd at Mackey Auditorium at the TEDxBoulder event in September, 2015, “but I fell in love with this gorgeous white wall—a classroom wall, that is…. And the wall was calling me to do the Last Supper!”

Born in the line of Japanese Imperial Court appointed artisans, Hikaru is an internationally exhibiting artist. Just like his hero, Leonardo da Vinci, Hikaru is a man of multiple expressions, including painting, opera, acting, writing, dancing, and teaching. His TEDxBoulder talk, entitled, “My life as Leonardo da Vinci’s foster son,” explains more of the story behind his Last Supper mural.

“I started this project in 1995 and I spent 2000 hours, non-paid hours, giving up all of my holidays, weekends, vacation times to do this, dedicating it to the school community and to Leonardo…. In average, I was facing the wall from 5 or 6 in the morning till 2 a.m. at night, and only taking the break when it was absolutely necessary, and by the end of August, 1996 just in time for the new school year, I was able to finish the central portion of the painting.

“It is still there today, and I’m really happy and honored to know that.”

You can find Hikaru’s full talk here: https://youtu.be/nrHhqsMADNY