Mission students help paint school mural

A mural project at Cherry Hill Elementary involved every grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 6

Cherry Hill Elementary School has a new look and its students played a big part in creating it.

Last week, students from every grade level (Kindergarten to Grade 6) were outside, painting the front of the Mission school.

“We are doing a school-wide student mural,” explained principal Shane Sliziak.

“We’ve brought in Kris Kupskay, he’s a well-known artist out of Whistler who has done these kinds of projects before.”

The artist created the outline for the mural on the school wall and students have been painting in the rest, under his watchful eye.

Kindergarten students were matched up with older “buddy” students during the painting project.

By the end of the week, Cherry hill had a whole new look.

“We decided to do this, as a staff, to build a sense of belonging and some pride in the school,” Sliziak said about the mural.

However, the project isn’t over. The school is scheduled to be repainted this summer and when finished, more mural work is planned.

“”We have four animals on the wall. We have the deer, cougar, eagle and bear and so next fall, after the school is painted, we are going to take all four footprints and each child will get a footprint and they are going to footprint all around the school,” said Sliziak.

Students will also be able to write a personal message inside the footprint they create.

This is the seventh artist-led mural project for artist Kris Kupskay, who said he enjoys every minute of it.

“I get to come in, speak to the kids, talk about art, talk about passions, all on the first day. Then, the second third fourth day I put the outline up and work with the kids to fill it in.”

Kupskay said the design was a collaboration as most of the ideas came from the school.

When explaining the design to the students, Kupskay asked them to close their eyes and picture the trees and the animals.

“The kids were visualizing it as we went along,” he said, adding they all took to the project quickly.

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