When it was announced that the Westchester Middle School fifth-grade class would relocate to the new Westchester Lower School campus at 1275 Mamaroneck Avenue this school year, WMS Teacher Sara Jo Karger was inspired with an idea for a special art project for the fifth-grade students. Each of the 96 fifth graders would compose an individual design to form a large “Welcome!” mural at the entrance of the new building.
“Our fifth graders couldn’t wait to play a part in the move,” said Ms. Karger. “In the spirit of coming together, the fifth graders collaborated on this piece, which showcases their talent and creativity. The big, bold banner reflects the spirit of our students and bursts with joy!”
Ms. Karger proposed this idea to Visual Arts Chairperson Dev Pillette, who enthusiastically supported the idea and created the blueprint of the mural with its 96 squares. It was essential to allow every fifth-grade student in Ms. Karger’s, Natasha Amazan’s, and Barbara Cantatore’s art classes to be represented.
Following the blueprint design, every student received an individual square with their portion of the mural that they had to recreate on a cardstock square. The art teachers discussed line type, composition, and color during this project. For example, students were instructed to use warm colors for letters and cool colors for background design.
The new Westchester Lower School campus opened its doors for the first day of school on October 28, and the fifth-grade students were delighted to see their class’s design displayed in the front lobby.
“We didn’t tell the students what the final message was going to say,” said Ms. Amazan. “We wanted the end product to be a surprise for them.”
While touring the new building, the fifth-grade students searched for and proudly pointed out their individual squares on the mural. As the new Westchester Lower School campus is not yet fully complete, the bright and welcoming mural has been a cheerful addition to the building’s décor. The fifth-grade students, as the eldest children of the building, have made their mark with their community art mural, the first of many personal student touches at the new campus.