A painting by artist Susan Fahrni has been installed in the hallways of Edgewater Elementary, leaving students, staff, and guests at the school with a mural that depicts beauty out of nearby nature and wildlife.
On the final Friday of the past school year, June 21st, Mrs. Fahrni brought her completed mural project to Edgewater Elementary and met with staff who were ready to install the piece.
The mural is heart-shaped and features a small body of water which can be seen to the north of the school property, she said.
“It brought me to tears when we hung the artwork and some of the little kids were coming in from recess and said, “I know that place Mrs. Fahrni — that’s our pond,” ” she told The Echo. “It was an honour to be able to do it and it was great fun to work with the kids.”
The project is a large addition to wooden eagles, which have been on display at the school for years.
“There were two wooden eagles on a very plain wall and they looked lost,” she said, adding that an eagle is the school’s mascot.
The wooden eagles were incorporated into the mural of the wetlands, and are now accompanied by new designs of a beaver and fish.
An assembly was held on the day of the mural’s installation to commemorate the artists with a plaque. Mrs. Fahrni was joined by Betty Sawchuk, the widow of eagle artist Dave Sawchuk for the presentation.
“When Betty first saw it she burst into tears of amazement,” said Mrs. Fahrni.
The project was first discussed between Mrs. Fahrni and Sharlene Scofield, the principal at Edgewater Elementary, before her retirement this summer.
“I love the little school that Edgewater has become under Sharlene’s guidance,” said Mrs. Fahrni.
After becoming aware that public grants would not support the idea, Mrs. Fahrni proposed to volunteer her time and expertise if the school helped to pay for the painting supplies.
“We had to scale down the size,” said Mrs. Fahrni, “but that’s what we decided to do.”
The initial plans assumed a budget of $2,000, which would have seen the mural span 10 feet high by six feet wide, but when the school discovered it was left to cover the costs on its own, the height and width were resized to roughly 64 inches respectively.
Regardless of the lack of financial backing, Mrs.
Fahrni had a lot of help from the students, who sanded and primed the canvases made from recycled school supplies.
“Virtually every student from Kindergarten to Grade 4 had their hands on it,” she said.
“I feel really proud and pleased. I hope they’re enjoying it. I like the idea that it gives the school presence when you walk in the door, rather than your boring old cement wall.”