Round Rock art teacher’s chalk mural reminds neighbors they’re still together despite being apart


Abby Esparza, a Round Rock art teacher, sent a message with a mural that she drew with her two children. (Abby Esparza)

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — An art teacher and her family used a new canvas to make their community still feel connected even while everyone distances themselves from each other during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Abby Esparza, a Round Rock art teacher, is pictured with her son, Ethan, while working on their fence mural in Pflugerville. (Abby Esparza)

The fence surrounding Abby Esparza’s backyard in Pflugerville now displays her latest artwork — an expansive chalk mural with the words “separate together” drawn in colorful letters. She started it Tuesday with her two children, Ethan and Olivia, as part of an at-home assignment since their own schools are also closed because of the pandemic.

Since they finished the art project, Esparza told KXAN that families in her neighborhood are stopping by and taking pictures with the mural, which also includes hand-drawn images of flowers and a tree with the word “hope” carved inside a heart. They also wrote out the words “blessed and better” in the center of the mural as a reminder to people to express gratitude during this uncertain time.

Olivia and Ethan Esparza helped their mother draw a mural on their fence in Pflugerville. (Abby Esparza)

“It’s become a cool, brighten-up-your-day spot,” Esparaza said about the mural Friday.

Esparaza teaches at C.D. Fulkes Middle School in Round Rock, which closed as a precaution after March 13. She said drawing out the mural became a fun, relaxing way for her and her children to get outside and be creative, while still observing social distancing from their neighbors.


Esparza said she’s now noticed other families drawing murals and leaving messages on their own fences and sidewalks, which made her want to create a hashtag so that people could share their artwork online and potentially inspire others. She’s asking anyone who creates their own mural to tag it on social media with the #SeparateTogetherMural hashtag.

(Abby Esparza)

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