The Mural

In August 2000, the Wesley School Cultural Committee met to plan enrichment programs for the 2000-2001 school year. One of the projects the committee proposed was a student painted mural celebrating Middletown's 350th birthday. The mural would serve as a major focal point in the soon-to-be-renovated school. The committee, comprised of principal Joseph Cassella, teacher Sue Thomas, and parents Mary Dean-Lee, Priscilla Harnesk and Kathy Novak, investigated many mural artists to lead the project. They decided on JoAnn Moran of DaVinci Designs, an artist who had coordinated many school mural projects. In January 2001 Ms. Moran showed the student body a slide presentation on the history of murals. She explained that the mural would be painted in a style called "pointalism." To further explain the process she showed the students the work of George Seurat and left them with the rhyme "George Seurat painted with a dot, dot, dot." To complete the mural, the students would dot, dot, dot with cotton swabs.

Mural Design:
During the month of January students gave up recess time to create their images of Middletown. The pencil sketches showed a wide array of Middletown sites. The younger students sketched flowers, animals and people, while the older students drew city architecture, landscapes and historic images.

Samples of student drawings were projected onto five PVC panels, which when combined created an 8' by 20' mural. The projected drawings were outlined on the panels by the artist, JoAnn Moran. The outlined pictures then provided the guidelines for the students to paint.

Mural Painting:
During the week of February 19th the students used their art class and recess time to paint the mural. Armed with thousands of cotton swabs the students industriously began to fill in the mural. Pride and enthusiasm abounded as bold images began to take shape. Teachers, administrators and many parents tried their hand at the mural.

Mural Completion:
Work continued on the mural throughout the month of March. Parents and students busied themselves with cotton swabs and enamel paint. In May, the mural was displayed in the Wesley School cafeteria for our special Mural celebration,



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