Students paint ceiling of Toronto school in their ‘Michelangelo moment’

Kristin Rushowy, Education Reporter
Toronto Star

The students at Rose Avenue Public School are making their mark — in the halls, on the walls, and now on the ceiling.

Charmaine Lurch (right), lead artist from Inner City Angels, helps students Arabhy (middle) and Heshini set up a stencil. The artwork, part of a five-year project at Rose Avenue Public School, is for beautification as well as community-building. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

As part of a school-wide art project, students have been painting murals around the building, and this week started on the main archway — which they’re calling their Michelangelo moment.

“There’s a scaffold — kids have to climb up into the scaffold to actually paint the ceiling,” said principal David Crichton.

The artwork, part of a five-year project at the school — located in one of the most densely populated and diverse neighbourhoods in the country, surrounded by highrise apartment buildings near Parliament and Bloor Sts. — is in part beautification, but also community-building, Crichton added.

“The belief is that the school is the heart of the community, and that it should also be a jewel,” he said.

“When parents and students come in, it should . . . be a place they are proud to come into that is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but also reflective of where they come from.”

Photos: Students paint ceiling of school

The murals, featuring the theme of creation, will in the archway feature trees, birds, other animals and clouds.

The archway, which is about 20 ft. long, will take three to four weeks for students to complete.

The project is funded by Manulife Financial and Inner City Angels, which works with children in needy neighbourhoods, as well as Mariposa in the Schools.

It’s not the first time Rose Ave. students have created artistic masterpieces. In 2008, as part of an outdoor beautification project, they painted murals on the portables.