What began as an email has turned into an art project for everyone to enjoy, greeting shoppers and movie goers when they enter the Windham Mall. Thanks to the Mall’s owner Jay Wise and the Windham Middle School, the long wall inside the main entrance will be soon be adorned with a mural. Scheduled to be completed on April 10, the mural is the work of the grade six through eighth grade art classes. Supervised by art teachers Heather Livingston and Allison Livengood, it will be a creation designed entirely from the students.
|Unfinished masterpiece to be completed on April 10, 2017|
The original idea came from Wise, fueled by having a child of his own attending middle school in Gorham, “I was tired of looking at a blank wall and then I thought it would be a great idea to have this age group put something there. I also wanted to do something for the community, so it was a great match. I would like to see the entire wall done in the future, but that’s up to the middle school,” informed Wise.
After receiving the email from Wise with the idea, Principal Drew Patin knew exactly what to do next.
“I thought it was a great idea and passed it on to my two awesome art teachers Mrs. Livingstone and Ms. Livengood. They loved the idea and worked very hard to arrange the transportation and work with students who are in their classes and art club. It is very important to work on community connections for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is for the students. The sense of pride and worth for their contributions is so valuable. Also having a lasting impression on the community, like this project, is important for the community members to see the value of our schools and ability to provide experiences to students outside of the walls of our schools,” shared Patin
“My colleague Allison and I, are thrilled that our young artists have an opportunity to enhance a public space in their community with their unique collaborative art piece. Twenty three art club students participated from grades 6, 7, and 8. They first choose a theme for the mural, which was inspired by bold graffiti letters, each one portraying a different theme related to Maine or local culture, spelling out ‘Windham’. Students hand drew all the illustrations for each letter, and then we photographed them and projected them on the wall to trace. Next, students worked collaboratively to mix paint colors, and apply paint in layers to create a rich, multi-dimensional effect,” shared sixth grade teacher Livingstone.
“It is very important to work on community connections for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is for the students. The sense of pride and worth for their contributions is so valuable. Also having a lasting impression on the community like this project is important for the community members to see the value of our schools and ability to provide experiences to students outside of the walls of our schools,” continued Livingstone.
Many students mentioned how excited they will be to return to Smitty’s with their parents to show off their hard work. This opportunity helps show students that art is not just for school projects, but something that can enrich and enhance their local community spaces. Students also enjoyed a free lunch afterwards for their efforts in one of the theaters, compliments of Wise and Smitty’s.
The mural is scheduled to be completed in one more session on April 10.