Cabarrus County Education Foundation


Winecoff students’ mural celebrates North Carolina

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 8:46 am
Article and Photo by Michael Knox | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.mural web

CONCORD, N.C. — A hallway of Winecoff Elementary School is gleaming with North Carolina pride thanks to a new mural created by fourth-grade art students.

About 120 students created individual clay tiles that celebrate North Carolina imagery, such a lighthouse, Richard Petty’s #43 race car and logos for N.C. State and Duke University. Those tiles were then pieced together into a mural that dominates one of the hallway walls at Winecoff.

Aimee Mills, an art teacher at Winecoff Elementary, unveiled the mural to students this week.

“I think they are going to be thrilled,” Mills said. “Already they are pointing and saying, ‘That’s mine, I created that one.’ And they are so proud. Even before it was installed, just seeing their own individual tile not even put together with all the whole collaboration of tiles, they were so excited.”

Mills said it cost about $3,000 to create the mural, with the Cabarrus County Education Foundation donating a $250 grant, the Winecoff parent-teacher organization donating close to $2,000 and then Mills holding fundraisers for the rest of the money.

Mills worked with local artist Beth Smithson of Concord, who helped coordinate the students creating the tiles.

This is the second North Carolina-themed mural that Smithson has organized in area schools. Last year, she worked with fourth-graders at Forest Park Elementary School in Kannapolis, working with the art teacher there, Debbie DePompa. When DePompa started talking to Mills about the tile mural at Forest Park, that lead to Smithson working with Mills at Winecoff.

Mills and Smithson said they started working on the project at Winecoff back in November, starting out by sketching the art that would be created on the clay tiles. Students then drew or carved images into the clay that was turned into the tiles.

Smithson said she enjoyed working with the students and helping them create their new art project. Smithson had already created two other murals when she was an art teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School.

“Each time I learn something new,” Smithson said. “I learn as an artist doing this.”


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