Marie Francis, a teacher at John Grant High School in Côte Saint-Luc, says she wanted to get rid of the depressing “prison gray” walls in the building and instead brighten up the school hallways and do so in a creative way.
John Grant is a high school in the EMSB that targets students who have academic struggles or who have mild to severe intellectual impairments. It focuses on getting some students a Pre-Work Ministry Certification, instead of a high school diploma.
Ms. Francis assigned 21 of her students to create a mural along the lockers and walls of the hallway on the third floor of John Grant. Her student teacher, Sinthia Cousineau, took charge of this project and worked alongside artist Marcio Melo.
The John Grant mural project was carried out February 13 to 15. Students were eager to work on this for three days and it built up their will to learn about the theme, aboriginal culture and art.
|Part of the mural at John Grant High School (Photo credit: Eleni Giannakas)|
Sara, a student partaking in this project, says, “My favourite part was brainstorming. This art and creativity comes out of our hearts.” She was very happy to talk about the project, showing me her favorite sections of the mural. Selena, Allison, and Maurine are students of Ms. Francis and are also working on the mural project. They all agree that they love it and they wish it could continue. All three girls liked different aspects of this mural such as painting, drawing, and designing.
|Allison partaking in the mural production (Photo credit: Eleni Giannakas)|
Mr. Melo, an architect by profession, took part in this project. This added to the 170 murals he’s already done around Quebec. He moved from Brazil to Montreal to start his career and to follow his passion of art. “This projects allows everyone to collaborate and share space with each other,” he said. “The students can express themselves as they are in the present moment.”
The 21 students created beautiful murals across lockers and walls on the third floor. This will be a three-year production, as they will continue across the whole corridor to brighten up the lives of the students and their environment. They hope this will become a trend in schools so that everyone has a chance to express themselves creatively.
“This mural project has a community collective impact,” says Ms. Cousineau, who despite only have been student teaching at John Grant for a few months has developed a close connection with her students and enjoys what they’re doing together.
Ms. Cousineau jumped at the opportunity to do this mural and guided it towards Canadian aboriginal cultures. Ms. Francis agrees that this project is indeed wonderful for everyone.
|Sinthia Cousineau, Marie Francis, and Marcio Melo (Photo credit: Eleni Giannakas)|
You can view the mural in process video made by Sinthia Cousineau here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxeX_agA0sk
Or visit her website: http://www.sinthiacousineau.com/
Visit Marcio Melo's website: http://marciomelo.com/