OSWEGO, NY – An Oswego Middle School classroom has become a work of art.
Walk into the majority of school classrooms and you will see the institutional white drop ceilings.
However, Oswego Middle School teacher Suzanne Fox wanted something more for the students who reside daily in her classroom.
The result was nothing sort of spectacular.
She wanted to bring a little life to the classroom atmosphere and talked to art teacher Erin Platten.
Fox said, “I had seen the work of Mrs. Plattens’ students in another teacher’s classroom. I approached her about an entire ceiling mural for my classroom. We worked out the plan to create Monet’s ‘Waterlillies,’ which is my personal, all-time favorite painting.”
Continuing she said, “Slowly, as the tiles from my ceiling were removed as plain white blocks, they were replaced with a beautiful array of color. Students, at first, could not distinguish direct images, but as the mural progressed, it became not only recognizable, but a source of anticipation for them as to when the next section would be completed. Now, everyone who enters the room, both adult and student, immediately stops and is in awe of the beautiful and vibrant colors of our ceiling mural. Math and art are intertwined through the work of the OMS students.”
Platten discussed the project with her students and they were quite excited over the prospect of leaving this type of legacy at OMS.
Platten took a photo of Monet’s work.
She said, “I then sent it to our district printer Mike Brown who printed it and modified it so my students could commence the project. Each one of the students had to be focused and everyone had to work as a team. Cooperation was necessary so there were no duplications of tiles.”
The art teacher said, “Claude Monet noticed the village of Giverny while looking out a train window. He made up his mind to move there and rented a house and the area surrounding it. In 1890 he had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous painting such as his water lily and Japanese bridge paintings were of his garden in Giverny. This was a very exciting piece to do. ”
The project started in early November and was completed by Thanksgiving break.
Throughout the effort, the students remained excited and focused.
Students in the four eighth grade art classes involved in the creation included Jonathan Wall, Kellie Gorman, Morgan Kosbob, Johnna Tombolillo, Mercedes Whiteside, McKenna Bahner, Michael Carpenter, Chris Chalifoux, Sage Dudley, Ben McCrobie, Matt Lewis, Karl Mosbo, Josh Talamo, Anne Burkett, Robert Schirm II, Kaira Benway, Travis Johnson, Tabitha Madison, Hannah Broadwell, Kaylee Baldwin, Dylan Coleman, Meghan Hourigan, Michael Middleton, Bill Russ, Cheyenne Sanchez, Devin Higgins, Andrew Hook, Tyler Coady, Adam Thompson, Ben Whelsky, Alyssa Laskevicz, Luke Levine, Edward Haynes, Brenna Riley, Liam Peterson, Zachary Gillard, Alexis Bivens, Erin Delaney, Mayraliz Lopez, Taylor Montgomery, Debby Moyett Jaime, Austin Bachelor, Grace Gilbert, Jared Jaquin, Brianna McIntosh, Matt Rodgers, Andrew Osetek, Chris Barlow, Nick Hulbert, Cheyenne Winslow, Sydney Law, Tyler Courtney, Rana Al-Salameh, Mason McGann, Josh Bucher, Mariel Schickling, Alexis Sheridan, Rebecca Victory, Katelin Ballard, Braeden Livesey, Jacob Lofthouse, Michael Favata, Collin Ballou, Austin Levine, Meghan Anderson, Lauren Wallace and Eddie Sheridan.
Platten was dedicated to the project and after her students had completed their pieces she took it upon herself to install each and every tile.
She said, “For the three weeks I was here Friday night until 11 o’clock and back up at six in the morning on Saturday to be back here to work some more. I really wanted to get this in place as it was a great effort by my students.”
Principal Bonnie Finnerty was excited over the successful completion of the project.
She said, “We are very excited to be able to showcase the many talents exhibited by OMS students. They have added value and beauty to our school. A special ‘thank you’ to Mrs. Platten’s and Mrs. Shannon’s art classes for your hard work and commitment to detail.”
Creativity has brought a completely different atmosphere to a classroom at the Oswego Middle School thanks to the efforts of art teacher Platten and her students.