The goal of the Coalton Elementary School mural project is to complete a school-wide project with all of the students participating. The mural project has a rigorous timeline of four days. While it challenges the students artistically, it also provides them with an opportunity to create art individually as well as collaborating as a group.
This is the fourth year that teaching artists, Sarah Ferguson and Kylie Proudfoot-Payne have completed a mural with Coalton Elementary School, and the students exceeded themselves with the depth and understanding of the artistic process. The theme this year was "Kindness" inspired by reading the book, "Mr. Peabody's Apples" by Madonna. After reading the book, the students created an art project that correlated with the theme and book. “Each year we have raised our expectations while challenging the students to push themselves artistically, and each year they surprise us with their creativity and adaptability within the projects. Although we begin with a plan and vision, the students' enthusiasm and creativity will determine the overall look of the mural. The success of the mural rests mainly on the fifth, fourth, and third graders, with their effort, cooperation, creativity and enthusiasm, they carry the project toward completion. The lower grades are responsible for the details; each student’s part is essential and without full involvement the finished artwork would be lacking in the completed project's success,” says ArtsBank instructor Kylie Proudfoot-Payne. Once the mural is completed it is an exhibit in and of itself. Highlighted in a well-used hallway on the way to the gymnasium and music classroom, the mural is available for reflection, critique and prideful display.
The annual Coalton mural is always a favorite for all involved. Fourth grader, Abby Harlan, said, "I like making the mural because we get to see it across the whole wall in the hall. Plus, I like how we get to choose what colors and things to use." ArtsBank instructor, Sarah Ferguson, says that this project is always a special one, since the whole school works together to create it. “When we hang the mural each year, the students beam with pride. They are so excited to see their piece of the mural, and how it is part of something even bigger,” says Ferguson. Principal Amy Smith says the following about the mural project: “The mural is a wonderful project for our students. Not only do they get to learn many new art techniques through the completion of the project, but they also get to work collaboratively to create a beautiful display that the entire school community gets to enjoy. Furthermore, the project also incorporates a great deal of cross-curricular learning opportunities for the students.”
To continue the mural tradition at Coalton Elementary School and the Arts Bank Inc. Teaching artist program in Randolph County, please consider attending the annual fundraising auction at 6pm on Saturday, February 25th, 2017, at the Beverly Fire Hall or by donating via the Arts Bank website, www.artbankwv.com