MARCH 10TH 2016
ARTICLE BY: ARTS INTEGRATION MENOMONIE
As a gift to River Heights Elementary School, A.I.M. Executive Director Tami Weiss donated her time and artistic talent to create a literary themed mural over 10 feet high and 60 feet long. The mural spans one entire wall in the school’s library and media center and includes characters from favorite children’s books such as The Berenstain Bears, Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George and many, many more. “Students talk about the characters, they identify the characters, they see the character and then they look for the book so all of that just happens very, very naturally. There will be learning happening all the time,” remarked River Heights Principal Peg Kolden.
Weiss also sees the mural as a way to celebrate illustrators, “the unsung heros in children’s books, the illustrator as the person who bring these stories to life.” The mural, taking characters through all four seasons, honors 30 different illustrators and incorporates characters from 32 different children’s books. The project took nearly 5 weeks to complete with an estimated 120 hours of man hours involved. Weiss says. "I think it's a nice gift for the students to be able to see the making of something. They’ve been witnessing this from the start. They’ve been seeing the process which is even more important, I think, than the product sometimes.”
In addition to the artwork, A.I.M. will donate to the school a hardcover copy of every book represented in the mural. Each individual book is being donated in honor of a particular River Heights teacher. Though the mural was completed in February, an official dedication celebration of the mural and the donated books will be held in April during the school’s Family Night.