What started as an exercise to promote health and well-being has turned into an exciting opportunity for students to meet American painter Ford Smith.
Innisdale Secondary School’s non-verbal Life Skills girls physical & health education class takes part in daily activities that promote health and well-being. These activities include exercise, yoga, gardening, music, dance, theatre and art, among other things. In June, educational assistant Miriam Cote led the class in creating a mural for the school.
“Ms. Cote was our inspiring artistic leader who suggested we make the mural replica of one of Smith’s vibrant painting,” said Roxy Reimer, Life Skills teacher, Innisdale SS. “All of the girls became part of painting through cutting paint chips, gluing, washes and so many other fun textural components. Their teamwork helped make the fabulous final canvas painting a success. The canvas was 4’ x 5’, which allowed space for all of the girls to participate together as a team and yet express themselves as individuals.”
Reimer and Cote were so pleased with their students’ work that they took a photo of the class in front of the painting and sent it to the artist with a letter explaining how inspired the students were by his colourful painting and inviting him to the unveiling of the foyer mural next fall.
“We weren’t sure if we would get a response, but Smith replied right away expressing how touched and impressed he was with the work our students did,” Reimer said. “While he can’t come to the unveiling, he has promised to come to Innisdale next year to do a live painting presentation. This will be a thrill for the whole school!”
Vice-Principal Liselle Prickette, responsible for Special Education at Innisdale, and Principal Dawn Stephens were so impressed with the mural that they hung it up in the school office and asked the class to paint another mural in the school’s front foyer to welcome students, staff and guests as they arrive. Students completed the mural and the unveiling will take place this fall.