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'Imagination' mural to be unveiled Friday at Blue Sage

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Photo by Tamie Meck A section of "Imagination: The Gift of Story," a mural created by North Fork area Arts 4 All students, shows a mother reading a story to her child. The mural's unveiling will be celebrated from 6-7 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Blue Sa

The Blue Sage Center for the Arts and Arts for All will host the unveiling of "Imagination: The Gift of Story," from 4-6 Friday, April 26. "Imagination" is a ceramic mural created by 12 students of the Arts for All program. Students attend North Fork School of Integrated Studies, Montessori at Crawford schools, and Paonia High School and range in age from 10-15.

Retired Waldorf educator Thesa Callinicos worked with students on the bas relief mural. The process began with each student thinking of his favorite book and drawing a scene from it. Their responses are depicted across a tile landscape rich in images depicting fiction and history, dinosaur footprints, animals and insects, wind spirits, a wagon carrying pioneers crossing the Great Plains, a knight in shining armor, a castle in the sky, a talking tree, forests, streams and croplands, a bridge and more.

In the lower left side of the mural, a mother reads the stories to her child.

The concept for creating the mural, said Callinicos, comes from Austrian Rudolf Steiner, upon whose educational philosophy Waldorf education is based. "He believed that the poorest schools should have the most beautiful art on their walls," said Callinicos.

Arts for All is collaboration between the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, Mountain Harvest Creative and The Learning Council. Launched in 2016 as a pilot after-school arts program for elementary aged students, the program offers school and summer programs and classes in the visual arts, dance, music, film animation, drama and the circus arts.

For six weeks, students worked as a team, shaping individual scenes in clay and painting them. Each of the tiles, which fit together like a puzzle, were then kiln-fired to the strength of stone. David Strong, pottery class instructor at The Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss, advised students throughout the project and fired the tiles in the Creamery kilns.

Following Friday's unveiling the mural will be framed on a waterproof backing, grouted, and mounted on an outer wall at Paonia Elementary School/NFSIS. For more information, call 527-7243 or email info@bluesage.org.

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