Jeriel McGinness, an art teacher from Creekside Middle School in Woodstock, fostered collectiveness and oneness among the teacher, students and parents through art. When he joined the school as an educator, he realised the walls of the campus need to speak for themselves rather than just being empty spaces.
Jeriel undertook this task of beautifying the campus through mosaics and sending a message and meaning to the pupils of the school. The walls filled with art and hard work was not just a sole product of Jeriel but the students, and their families over the years.
Jeriel shared, “More than thousands of people have contributed in making, cutting, and glazing the tiles”.
The work did not just beautify the campus, but also paid tribute to a student who died due to a terminal disease. The mosaic representing the child’s memory titled ‘Hope Springs Eternal’, certainly brings fondness and remembrance.
It has also been able to soothe children with different needs. The embossed nature of the art helped children with sensory-processing disorders to feel the textures and develop their comprehension through it.
One of the longest-running projects has been “Creekside Mosaic”, which seems to be a single piece but has been completed in three different sections. It is also the school mascot.
Jeriel's hard work and team spirit enabled him to bring everyone on board to contribute in some way to the art. He even made the effort to invite parents to create imprints on clays for the mosaic, hence letting some children also to put their thumbprints or shoe prints to the art.
His art and motivation have brought hope, connection and unity to the architecture and pupils who are the building blocks of the school.
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