Just in time for the new school year, “Tigers by the Sea,” a large-scale mural funded by Falmouth Education Foundation (FEF), was installed on August 29 at Teaticket Elementary School.
Overseen by Corine Adams and Jane Baker of the Falmouth High School art department, the project was a collaboration among Teaticket, the National Art Honor Society, and the Woods Hole Science Aquarium/NOAA.
“Jane and I had the idea of doing something with our art honor students in the former kindergarten playground area at Teaticket,” Adams said. “We reached out to physical education teacher Carrie Shanahan and kindergarten teacher Lynn Van Etta, and decided that a cool and colorful mural for the wall would be a great asset to the school and a great community service project for our students.”
Baker wrote the grant to FEF, which funded materials and field trips. Adams and Baker worked with kindergarten teachers Stacey Boudrot, Maureen Tichenor and Linda Nilson to facilitate a collaboration with the kindergarten and high school students. They also involved Kathy Patterson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and George Liles of the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, who provided opportunities for hands-on learning.
“We arranged a field trip for the kindergarten students to visit and learn about local sea life, as well as conduct research,” Adams said.
“The art honor students visited Teaticket and assisted the young artists with making small clay animals for the mural. After they were kiln-fired, we visited again to glaze the pieces. At the high school, the older students constructed the large animals.”
FHS wood shop teacher James Brooks assisted by cutting the cement boards, and Teaticket fourth-graders, overseen by art teacher Nancy Sweeney, contributed by creating minnows for the mural.
“Once all the pieces were completed, we glued them on the cement panels. The most difficult part was the grouting,” Adams said.
John Netto of the Falmouth Public Schools maintenance department and Teaticket head custodian Kevin Pimental safely transported the finished panels to the school, where it was installed last week.
Adams stressed that the project was truly a group effort.
“Without FEF’s funding, and all of the people who were involved, this beautiful mural could not have materialized,” she said.