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Cambrian College artists create new mural at Northeastern Elementary School

May 7, 2024

A team of students and faculty in Cambrian College’s School of Creative Industries has created a mural for Northeastern Elementary School, part of the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury. The mural features silhouettes of students with words that reflect the values of Northeastern Elementary School and serve to connect the students, staff and school community.

Cambrian College is giving new meaning to paint by numbers in its latest mural that has found pride of place in the entrance at Northeastern Elementary School in Garson. Spanning 11 panels and 228 square feet, the impressive piece of art took eight students and two faculty from the Design and Visual Arts and Art and Design Fundamentals programs 213 hours to paint.

Unveiled today to mark the beginning of Education Week, the mural is a reflection of the students themselves as they progress through the years. Silhouettes of 10 children, who were photographed for the project, represent all grade levels, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8.

Within the silhouettes are words to define the values at Northeastern Elementary School – acceptance, co-operation, diversity, equity, friendship, inclusion, kindness, leadership, respect and unity – values that unite and connect the students, staff and school community.

The mural also features dragonflies, symbols of growth and courage. The colours in the mural, vibrant shades of yellow, blue, orange and red, are friendly and welcoming, instilling a sense of energy and excitement from the moment students, staff and visitors enter the school.

The mural complements the revitalization project that is currently underway at Northeastern Elementary School. The hues in the mural will be carried into the cafeteria which will soon be remodelled.

“Northeastern Elementary School hosts many activities in school, within our Board and within the broader community. These upgrades, made possible with community involvement, bring positive energy to our school, creating a warm and welcoming environment for all to enjoy,” said Northeastern Elementary School Principal Jodie Pakkala. “We extend our deepest thanks to the Cambrian College Visual Arts Department and Instructor Johanna Westby for being part of our school’s transformation.”

She adds: “Response to the mural has been amazing. The intricate brush strokes are as beautiful as the symbolism that inspired them. The modern elements showcase our students, our values and our school. It also builds a bridge to our community partners.”

It has become an annual tradition for Cambrian’s School of Creative Industries to create a mural for the Greater Sudbury community. Murals have been installed at Tom Davies Square (City Hall), Health Sciences North, Science North, YMCA, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Lockerby Composite School and the college itself.

“We are so pleased to collaborate with partners in the community to create these murals,” says Johanna Westby, a professor in the Design and Visual Arts program. “This year’s project at Northeastern Elementary School enabled us to re-imagine the space with lively and colourful art that the Northeastern community could readily connect with.”

She adds: “These murals provide a fantastic opportunity for Cambrian’s students and faculty to create a large-scale project in which they can take pride, and which can be enjoyed by the community for years to come.”

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