Art Teacher Merrilyn San Soucie had a dream to create a dynamic artwork for the large exterior wall of East Kingston Elementary School. “Every time I looked at that wall, I knew we had to create art for it!” As a component of the school-wide theme for the year, imagination, teaching artist C. M. Judge was invited to East Kingston Elementary School to help the students design a large-scale relief sculpture that would bring color and life to the wall, which directly faces the road.
It was obvious to both Ms. San Soucie and Ms. Judge that each of the 155 students needed to directly participate in the planning, designing and painting of the artwork. Applying the theory that architecture and images play an important role in establishing a building’s identity and purpose in a community, students began creating models of different concepts which they imagined would celebrate their school and share its wonderful qualities with the public. They worked first with paper cut to scale in order to determine the placement of the sculpture on the wall. When the time came for the final work to be created, each student painted their own portion with an image they felt expressed their imagination. A public art project of this magnitude required many helping hands from across the community; students, teachers, administrators, staff, parents and volunteers all came together to help. What was once an imposing, empty wall wall is now infused with the talent and joy of the children of the Kingston community.