Bob Loeb was flipping through the pages of Memphis magazine when he saw a piece of art he had to have. It wasn't a gallery piece, but a mural created by local elementary school students using recycled plastic bottle caps.
The article led to the latest educational collaboration between Loeb Properties Inc. and Shady Grove Elementary.
Loeb orchestrated a trade in which students would create a bottle cap mural for Overton Square in exchange for an educational field trip in which 75 fifth-graders received an art lesson from The Art Project, lunch from Belly Acres and a guided public art tour.
The serendipitous way in which Shady Grove Elementary found itself partnering with Overton Square is a microcosm of Memphis itself, said school principal Kiersten Schnacke.
"That really and truly is what our world should be about — people coming together," Schnacke said. "Through those connections, our students were able to have an amazing experience."
Like Memphis, Shady Grove is a diverse public school with a mix of races and incomes. Five of the school's buses are dedicated to transporting students from a nearby apartment complex.