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New mural the work of teacher and students

Students joined art teacher Katie Jackson twice a week for three weeks to create the mural pictured behind them. Pictured, from back left, are Ellie Shea, Elliott Vanasse, Elena Oien, Izzy Saito, Amelia Reckinger, Afton LeMay, Sophia Mestemacher and Katie Jackson. Pictured in the front, from left, are Mariella Vanasse, Becca Rugless, Cami Bienfang, Jamy Randrup, Amber Norgaard and Sam Rugless. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
The finished mural is pictured above.2 / 2

After finishing some building construction at Grey Cloud Elementary school, which included a new wall where the office had been, there was a lot of empty space. So when Katie Jackson, the Grey Cloud art teacher, was asked to create a mural on a blank wall near the office she was quick to say yes, but she didn't want it to be just about her artwork.

"I wanted it to be about the school," Jackson said.

She said that they wanted to decorate the wall to make it more inviting and in a way that they could involve the students. Jackson enlisted some help from her art students.

Thirteen students in grades K-5 helped her complete the mural.

The project took about three weeks to complete. Students would arrive about an hour early for school twice a week to help paint.

The students used pointillism to create the grass and sky in the mural. Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. In addition, they helped in picking out the silhouettes at the base of the mural, traced them and painted them black.

Jackson said that the mural represents specialist areas at the school including media, music, physical education and art. There is also a large sun in the mural that represents a community feeling. Jackson said that the sun is also something that is happy and lights up the hallway.

Afton LeMay, a fifth-grader who helped with the mural, said that she had fun painting it and it will be something she can come back and see in the future.

"When we go into middle school and high school, we can come back and know that we worked on (the mural)," LeMay said.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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