Over the last two weeks of November 2016, twenty-six students dedicated themselves to painting murals in the stairwells of Garneau.

Art students painted the walls of MGCI’s stairwells this past month. Photo: Matthew Tse

The murals were an assignment for Mr. Jeffrey’s Grade 10 art class, and students were taught the necessary skills over a period of six weeks. Despite the heavy workload required in preparation of the murals, they completed the project with success.

While Mr. Jeffrey was in charge and directed the task, students brainstormed, planned, and painted on their own. Many students said the project was harder than expected; they had to make several changes due to time constraints but were happy with turnouts. Fatima Hatia, one of the painters, said, “The overall experience of this project was great. It was a lot of fun and we’re all pretty happy and amazed with the way they came out.”

Each group created a different piece of art in each stairwell. They featured vibrant colours and themes that reflected the school’s image. One features the school mascot, and others express positive messages such as, “Smile.”

One of the goals of the murals was to help create a more positive school atmosphere. “The stairwells can get a little bit boring and drab,” Mr. Jeffrey said, “so I just wanted to brighten peoples’ days while they’re walking around the building.”

Other students quickly noticed the art while navigating between classes and many said that it was a great improvement. One student, Hshmat Sahak, said, “I really like the murals. They really help in livening up the stairwells that were otherwise completely blank and bland before.”

Mr. Jeffrey was also extremely pleased with the results. “I’m more than impressed.” he said, “It almost brought me to tears.” He had done this assignment before in another school with Grade 12 students, yet said that their results weren’t as crisp or clean as his current students’.

The stairwell murals were an initiative by Mr. Jeffrey that was carried out by his students. They are an amazing addition to Garneau’s halls that will remain for years to come: “It’s like we’ve left a mark behind,” said Fatima.