Here is the 115-foot wall mural at the Indian Lake Central School.
Walking along the main corridor of the Indian Lake Central School building is now a colorful and vibrant experience.
For approximately 115 feet, from the front office to the glass doors at the end of the hallway and from floor to ceiling, one is visually treated to the representation of a day of living in the Adirondacks.
The colors of the mural are bold, bright, rich, exciting and warm. The viewer is presented with the creatures with whom we share this special place, including the beaver, deer, moose, loon, heron, eagle and bear. Each animal is energetically depicted and takes the viewer through a part of the day in this unique environment. All through the mural, the animals are set-off and surrounded by icons representing the day-part and a montage of Native American symbols from the Abenaki and the Iroquois as an homage to the rich culture each bring to the Adirondacks.
Beyond creating a thing of extraordinary beauty, the mural project, the brainchild of art teacher Lauren Arsenault, had a number of objectives.
The concept was to give all students, Pre-K through grade 12, the opportunity to collaboratively design and paint the mural, knowing the experience would build trust and a sense of community among them. By choosing inspiration from the world around the students, it enabled them to create the mural with symbols and metaphors that were rich with personal meaning to the students, as well as the staff, members of the Board of Education and community volunteers who worked with the students on the project under the guidance of resident artist and muralist Susan Shanley.
“The experience was wonderful for our staff, students and community,” Arsenault said. “It brought us together and was very positive and energizing for all those involved. I wish I had had a tape recorder to record all the positive comments the students made; it was great to hear them have so much enthusiasm for the project and for art. They love the Adirondack animal theme and the bright colors. It was wonderful to have every single student from Pre-k through 12 involved in making their mark on the mural.”
School Principal Dave Snide had positive remarks about the project.
“Mrs. Arsenault provided a terrific opportunity for school and community collaboration and the kids are so proud of their work,” Snide said.
Getting the mural to a point of completion this past June took a lot more than paint and wall space, according to School Superintendent Mark Brand.
“After over a year of planning, obtaining grant funding and active participation of students, faculty, staff, Board of Education members, parents and community volunteers, our mural came to life,” Brand said. “The mural is a visual representation of the area we are fortunate to live in and a daily reminder of the spirit of cooperation of our school community.”
Arsenault wanted to recognize the helpers: Alyssa Cuthbert, Lizzy Kries, Sarah and Bob Lewin, Nancy Strader, Jon Vorhees, Sue Norris, John Reynolds, Jason Dora, Mellissa Mulvey, and Debbie Starling. She also stressed that once everything came together, the mural was finished in one week.
“None of this could have been possible had the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts and the town of Indian Lake not collaborated with the ILCSD to acquire the grant funding awarded by Arts and Education,” Arsenault said. “This resplendent mural will enliven our school environment for years to come ... It is something for our students and school community to be proud of.”
Anyone having the opportunity to visit and view this mural should pay special attention to the section of the wall around from where the mural begins. It is there that they will find the signatures of all the students that contributed to this piece of art.