The Class of 2013 at PS 127 has certainly left its mark at the school. The fifth graders, who recently graduated and will be off to intermediate schools in the fall, left a parting gift to the school in the form of a mural depicting Bay Ridge, the community where the school is located.
The mural was unveiled at a special presentation that took place at the school, 7805 Seventh Ave., last week.
“Most of these kids have been part of our school family since kindergarten, so finding a way for them to create a lasting legacy that reflects their community and cultures has been an amazing opportunity,” Principal Agatha Alicandro said.
The students worked with Magdalena Marcenaro, an Argentina-born artist, over a period of several weeks to paint the mural on a wall inside the school building. The goal was to create a lasting artwork that would reflect the diversity of the community and of the school, Alicandro said.
“The children have been so inspired by working with a professional artist. I hope that when they think back to their final weeks as fifth graders, they will be proud of what they have achieved with their mural,” the principal said.
Marcenaro said she was drawn to the idea of working with children. “So many children have no contact with art or the opportunity to create it. People have a fear that, oh I can’t draw, or I can’t paint. But I like to
show the kids works from around the world that prove that if you can draw a line, if you can hold a paintbrush, then you can create art,” she said.
“Art isn’t a specific skill. It’s about having a vision, a concept. It’s been so cool watching how the kids have come on board with the mural,” Marcenaro said.
“Before we started on the mural I didn’t really understand what it was or how to do it,” said one fifth grader. “I wasn’t very interested in art. I thought it was boring pictures of old people in museums. But Magda showed us some really awesome pictures,” the student said.
The mural was constructed using wheat pasting. The students clipped thousands of images from magazines and newspapers. “We have clipped until our fingers ache. I don’t want to see another magazine for a long while!” parent volunteer Amanda Gardener said.
The paints were donated by Build It Green NYC, a non-profit organization that provides low cost building materials from their facilities in Queens and Brooklyn. Extra materials were provided at a discount by The Home Depot in Astoria. One member of the management team even dug into his own pocket to help the project, PS 127 officials said.
Taking inspiration from this project, PS127 now has big plans for murals their lunchrooms, Alicandro said.
By New York City standards, P.S. 127 is a small school, with 527 students. But it is a diverse school where 55 different nationalities are represented, officials said.