'Peace' garden mosaic brings smiles, creativity to Salem's John Fenwick School
Last fall, art teacher Rebekah Cohen had a vision for a “peace” garden themed mosaic mural for the outside entrance ofJohn Fenwick School in Salem City.
After searching for an organization to help with this project, Perkins Center for the Arts committed to provide the school with two artists in residence for a 10-day residency.
Mosaic artists Jackie Stack Lagakos and Kathy Casper helped students develop imagery, made and glazed tiles and installed the mural on the outside entrance facing Smith Street.
The project served 420 preschool through second grade students at John Fenwick School.
Select students from Salem High School, community volunteers and faculty at JFS also helped with the installation process.
The mural not only beautifies the outside of the school, but the community of Salem and gives students and community members a sense of pride and ownership.
Perkins Center for the Arts paid two-thirds of the cost of the mural, and John Fenwick School was responsible for the other third.
Cohen raised $2,000 through a grant from the Lowe’s Charitable & Educational Foundation (LCEF), and another $500 from two fundraisers inside the school building.
Rotary Club of Salem Sunrise also contributed more than $1,000 through its yearly fundraiser dinner and show at Salem City Café.
At the beginning and end of the day, children can be seen smiling and pointing out the artwork they contributed toward the mural.
The response has been wonderfully positive from both the community and the students.