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The Barker

Downtown Westerly’s Bricks and Murals a Welcome Artistic Addition

Cassie Mitchell, Editor-In-Chief

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Students Emily Panciera and Sofia Sandoval working on a mural

The art students of Westerly High School had an amazing experience this Thursday, the 14th of September, painting murals in downtown Westerly. They were assigned to a mural and made a small photo turn into an impressive mural near the brick walls of Avie’s ski store.

Bricks and Murals is a non-profit organization which showcases the culture of Westerly and Pawcatuck around the towns. The goal of this organization is to “enhance economic growth” as noted on Bricks and Murals website.

With the help of Walldogs, who are highly skilled painters from around the world, these small parts of Rhode Island will vibrantly stand out.

Every participant and observer had a great time helping out in the process. The students sketched, outlined and filled in the image with paint. Each person took time and effort while designing the art.

Foreign exchange student Sofia Sandoval was shocked about having a field trip to create art. In her home country of Chile, students are to create the same piece of art and there is no freedom involved. Many students have received poor grades because they are not able to make something similar to the teacher’s expectations.

Sandoval also needed to purchase certain art supplies in order to take part in the course in Chile. Being able to paint what she wanted was thrilling to her and taking part in Westerly’s art was an excitement for the student.

Superintendent Marc Garceau paints with the art students

The murals attracted locals, members of the school committee and town council such as Rebecca Green, Jean Gagnier, John Tedeschi, Christopher Kelley, and Tom Albamonti. The president of the mural program Walldogs, Nancy Bennett, also joined us with some of her colleagues. Bennett had stated all the places she has created murals in which include Amsterdam, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Australia, California, Wisconsin, Kansas, Montana and other places in the world.

Now Westerly, Rhode Island is added to her spots and Bennett was impressed with the amount of support and all the students who helped out.

Many adults found the scene energizing and exciting. Jean Gagnier and a few others explained how this was a lucky opportunity and they were impressed with the bravery and creativity of the painters. The murals are of a local family which display Italian heritage. Some students would like to see more murals around town displaying other cultural traditions to show the diversity of the town.

Upperclassmen of WHS painting their mural.

This project was a tiring event but the effort was more than worth the results. The whole occurrence was great for all involved.

The video crew led by Mr. Albamonti was excited to take photos and videos of the artists and the interviews led by The Barker downtown. One of the students, Junior Mark Buckley, was happy to capture videos of the action. He has been in the video class for two years and was inspired by videographer David Dobrik who puts himself in the middle of interesting events.

There was music playing, people talking, laughing and eating pizza from Westerly’s Tony T’s. Others from Pawcatuck and Westerly have gone downtown at night to see all the hard work everyone put into the town’s art. Whether a superintendent, principal, cook, writer, painter or a curious bystander, there was a part to play for everyone.

These murals will live on for many years in Westerly for people to enjoy as the town grows and changes.

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The student news site of Westerly High School
Downtown Westerly’s Bricks and Murals a Welcome Artistic Addition