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Visiting artist helps Weisenberg students create mural

Caren Frost Olmsted, a mural artist from New Jersey, recently visited Weisenberg Elementary School for 11 days and helped 431 students create a mural on the wall outside the cafeteria.

Art teacher Karly Sacco commented on the visit.

“We had an amazing time,” she said of the unique project. Sacco brought four students and a slideshow to the March 27 Northwestern Lehigh School Board meeting.

Eric Riggins introduced the artist saying she chose the perfect spot for the mural. She has helped create 50 murals in various schools.

Ideas for the mural were gathered and the theme, “What it is like to be a Weisenberg student,” was chosen,” said Devon Heinly.

Students wrote about the theme, drew sketches, then put the pages together to create a book.

Some pages were on display in front of the board room.

Olmstead used the student work to create a rough copy of the proposed mural.

Paige Bissell said that during her first two days at Weisenberg, Olmsted outlined the design on the wall and labeled in the colors to be used.

Parent volunteers filled in the top. Every Weisenberg student painted on the mural during art class.

The mural is more than 100 feet long and expresses the Weisenberg spirit. Some details are exciting things that happened while they were painting. There is an eagle for the Super Bowl champions and hex sign hearts for Valentine’s Day. Teachers and staff helped with the painting, Norah Silfies said.

Board President Bill Dellicker asked why such small brushes were used for such a large picture. Sacco said that was because there was a great deal of detail.

Family, especially dads and grandfathers, came to help and were comfortable working with the students.

Superintendent Mary Anne Wright said the mural was a great project.

The students wouldn’t even take time to talk, they were so involved. They would briefly answer a question and get back to painting.

“Wonderful memories were made,” Sacco said, adding they will be around for a long time.

PRESS PHOTOS BY ELSA KERSCHNERStudents who told the Northwestern Lehigh School Board about the Weisenberg mural were Eric Riggins, Devon Heinly, Paige Bissell and Norah Silfies.