Wills Primary School has received an artistic makeover compliments Sydney McConney, Safia Stoute, Rynisha Mahon-Bowen and Paula Powlett.
Mahon-Bowen, Stoute and McConney are students at the Barbados Community College pursuing Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Bachelors of Fine Arts while Powlett is a creative consultant at I.G.P The Agency.
The artistes made over the school with five murals depicting words of encouragement – in a hallway, on three benches, on one tree trunk and one bathroom.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY, Powlett said one of her close friends who works at Wills Primary School asked if she could come up with an idea for the wall. She began to think about the steps involved in a student’s journey to success. Thus, her mural is called Footprints To Success.
“I came up with that concept. From there, I worked with [Chantel] to find out about the different classes and the different processes that you would go through to get to the endpoint of primary school,” she said.
Powlett said she created the mural in a week. The main challenge was resizing the icons to fit on the wall in the main entrance to the principal’s office. “The first set of icons came out too small, so I had to resize them – a lot of cutting and sticking but after that, it was ok,” she said.
Stoute told Barbados TODAY that the Principal of Wills Primary School Nicole Wills gave them free rein to design their creations on the school compound but wanted the words Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out to be included.
“She wanted to really push kindness around the school. So, the last one we created [was] a character, but we really wanted to speak to the children less with the characters and more with colours because that is what we learned at Barbados Community College,” she said.
Stoute, Mahon-Bowen, and McConney added that one of their favourite parts of the entire experience was painting the tree trunk in the treehouse.
Mahon-Bowen said it was not challenging to complete such a big project since they were allowed as much time as they needed. However, they completed the project in a mere six weeks. “We tried to finish it in proper time so it could be done and look nice but we would not take the whole vacation,” she said.
McConney said the experience pushed her time management skills. “It really pushed time management and not procrastinating and having a drive to do it and finish it because it was hot. We really had to motivate each other to do it. It was a great bonding experience, and we worked well as a team,” she said.
Secretary-Treasurer at Wills Primary School Alice George said the idea to transform the school was because the principal wanted to tackle bullying which is not yet at the Maxwell, Christ Church institution.
“[The Principal] wanted to show a message to empower [students to be] kind, be positive and help one another. If you see someone sitting on a bench and they are new to the school you can go to them and ask, ‘Would you like to have lunch with us also?’ Be kind to each other and bullying is not accepted,” she said.
George continued that the school commissioned the three Barbados Community College students to work on that vision of empowering the 253 students who would walk through the school’s gates. (LG)