Student creativity contributes to mural project

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Art students at Stayner Collegiate Institute will see their work unveiled at a special ceremony on July 10. The mural has been commissioned by the Clearview Chamber of Commerce to decorate the Tourism Centre on Huron Street.

Rhonda Broderick, a director of the chamber says, “I have wanted a mural for years. We have so many talented artists in town and this is a way to celebrate all the talent and history of the area.”

Under the direction of art teacher Angie Kerr, students created four panels depicting the year round beauty of Clearview. The mural will show the tulip garden in spring, the gazebo in summer, the rolling farm country in autumn and the sparkling lights of the giant snowflake displays in local parks each winter. Broderick says the images reflect the roots, heritage and values of the community.

“If you live in Clearview, when you look at the mural you will feel a connection,” she said.

It was important to Broderick to involve young artists in creating something that will be proudly displayed in the community for years to come.

“Ultimately, this became a part of the curriculum and their final grades,” she said. “The school was incredibly supportive and we are hopeful that creating public art in Clearview will become a regular part of the curriculum going forward.”

Broderick says no taxpayer funds were used in the creation of the mural. The chamber purchased wood, paint and plexiglass, and Stayner Home Hardware generously donated paint trays, rollers and brushes. Labour was provided by art students at no cost. Township staff will be responsible for the actual installation of the finished panels.

It was decided to have the panels painted at the school, versus creating the mural on site at the Tourism Centre, to allow more time for students to actually work on the art rather than spending class time commuting to the site. It also alleviated the need to have students climbing ladders, which would have been a health and safety concern.

Students worked on the panels for about two months. Kerr says at any given time, there were 10-12 students involved.

“Christopher Stephens, a co-op student helped me with a lot of the project and students in my Grade 11 art classes chose to replace a sculpture project mark with a mark for working on the mural,” said Kerr. “Many other students simply volunteered their time during lunch or spare period to work on the community project.”

Broderick is hopeful that the mural will be well received, and already has plans for more public art. She is currently working to secure approval for more sites, and plans are underway for more panels to be painted at the school through the coming winter.

The unveiling ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 at the Clearview Tourism Centre, 220 Huron St. Free cake, courtesy of J&R Cycle will be served after the ribbon cutting and unveiling. In the case of rain, the event will be held on July 17.

Contributed photo: SCI student Hannah Rawn at work on the winter panel of a mural that will be unveiled in Stayner on July 10.

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