Updated March 7, 2013           

Article and some photos courtesy of the Record News EMC

Chimo school gets new splash of colour with mural project

Chimo Elementary School

By STACEY ROY (sroy@perfprint.ca)

EMC News -

The images of birds in flight, cats reaching up to the sky and smiling children's faces working together now greets students, staff and visitors at the entrance of Chimo Public School thanks to an innovative arts program.
The wall length mural in the main hall of the school was fully sponsored by parent council and is student led to depict their vision of key school virtues.
"It's about getting kids talking about the virtues," said Michelle Simons, core French teacher who is leading the kids in this project. "They're very focused."
About 20 students in grades 6 to 8 were challenged to create images that depict the words: empathy, caring, fairness, resilience, respect, honesty and responsibility and then paint them on the hallway wall.
"They've been wonderful. It's been really great," said project artist, Marcio Melo, a Brazilian artists from Quebec who is guiding the students in the project.
The mural creation project was three days in length with the first day focused on concept creation, the second day on sketching the images on the wall and the last day (Feb. 7) on painting and doing the final touches.
Melo finds his inspiration for these school-based projects from the children he works with as well as aboriginal art.
"I find that it is such a beautiful heritage from Canada we should explore that," Melo said.
Throughout his 12 years of working with students in this creative format Melo has come to appreciate the long-term benefits of working in the arts.
"The greatest thing is about confidence," Melo added. "At the end it's their work that's been highlighted on the walls."
Simons is pleased to introduce this project to the school as it enforces key curriculum-based skills such as fine motor skills, co-operation, leadership and inferring, yet the arts is not financially supported by the Ontario government.
"They need to promote it because some kids learn through the arts," Simons said.
The ability to enhance the students' leadership skills through this project will be available in the future when plans to expand the mural project into other areas of the school takes shape.
"They (students) will be working with the next cohort of kids who do it," Simons said.
Future murals will incorporate other students in the school with the mentorship of their senior peers.

An example of the colourful images on the main hallways at Chimo Public School.

Leah-Joy Gaensler works diligently to add colour to the sun that is part Chimo Public School's new arts mural. The three-day project was completed by students in grades 6 to 8 with hopes of expanding the program in the future.

Professional artist, Marcio Melo follows Grade 8 Chimo students, Austin Smith's pencil markings on his empathy image. The dominant image is of a line of people 'walking in one another's shoes'.

Mural Workshop Details

Marcio Melo Homepage


819 647 3416