(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)                                Back to school                                Charlotte Saunders, entering Grade 4 at Fairview elementary, runs by a new mural on the side of the school. The mural was painted by Maple Ridge artist Jason Craft and unveiled Tuesday, the first day back to school. See story, page 13.

(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Back to school Charlotte Saunders, entering Grade 4 at Fairview elementary, runs by a new mural on the side of the school. The mural was painted by Maple Ridge artist Jason Craft and unveiled Tuesday, the first day back to school. See story, page 13.

New mural for Maple Ridge elementary school

A falcon perching on a nest with her young is the design for the new exterior mural for Fairview elementary.

A falcon stands guard over her young in a new mural on the south exterior wall of Fairview elementary.

The piece was unveiled Tuesday morning, on the first day of the school year, by Maple Ridge artist Jason Craft and principal Cathie Watkins.

It measures approximately six metres high and 14 metres long and overlooks part of the playground and a big open field.

“One of the features of the mural is that you can look at it from way back and people from the surrounding houses would come up and they would say they really liked it,” said Craft.

He started painting the mural as soon as school let out for the summer and it took him until the third week of July to complete.

This was after seven months of meetings and design planning with a committee that was formed by teachers and the parent advisory council.

“We had a fairly lengthy design process,” explained Craft adding that there were also some little hurdles that they had to jump over, like the delaminating paint on the wall.

The mural was paid for by the Fairview elementary PAC that raised the money through their two major fundraising events, a bingo night in the fall and a trivia night in the spring.

Craft gets much input from students at every school he works with.

When he goes into a school he puts together a slide show presentation about the project and then encourages the students to go out into the field and draw their ideas for the artwork. Then the committee will single out ideas that are specific to the school’s identity.

The falcon is the school mascot for Fairview elementary.

“In every mural I do I try to incorporate the idea of family and community. So, usually the main theme is an adult animal, which is a protective role, that type of image and then the younger animals,” said Craft.

For the Fairview mural Craft created two designs based on what the students came up with.

The winning mural has the falcon perched on top of a nest protecting her eyasses with the Golden Ears mountains in the background and a rainbow arching across the sky symbolizing the acceptance of different types of people.

Craft has been a professional artist for 14 years, a passion he discovered himself in Grade 5 after his parents took him to see the movie Star Wars.

During the first week of classes Fairview elementary students will be painting the emergency container at the school with paint donated by Dulux Paints in Maple Ridge.

Eventually the PAC would like to extend the mural to the front entrance of the school and have another one painted inside the gym.

Craft’s work can be seen in schools across the Lower Mainland. This is Craft’s 86th mural.

 

Contributed                                Maple Ridge artist Jason Craft speaks at the unveiling.

Contributed Maple Ridge artist Jason Craft speaks at the unveiling.