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Mural makes school pop

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Riana Walker, 5, helped design and paint the ‘G’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Riana Walker, 5, helped design and paint the ‘G’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

A pinch of craft and touch of colour has been added to a Wairarapa school with their new entrance sign designed and painted by its pupils.

The words “Greytown School” pop off the primary school gate on East St, with an eclectic mix of designs and colours painted onto each letter by hand.

The concept came about a couple of years ago after the idea was raised by the Greytown School board and its deputy principal, Neil Preston.

But it wasn’t until March this year that school librarian Linda Kirkland brought around 30 schoolkids together to conquer the arty challenge.

“We’ve had 34 children involved which was quite challenging in many ways because you want to try to include as many as possible and all their ideas into a limited space,” she said.

Ariella Perry, 9, helped design and paint the ‘T’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Ariella Perry, 9, helped design and paint the ‘T’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

“So in groups of two or three they were allocated a letter by me, and it was their job to design and think about what they could portray within their letter.

“Each little individual letter became like a painting of its own – a little standalone piece.

“Together, of course, they form the words, Greytown School.”

The murals feature Wairarapa countryside, mountains, livestock, koru, and tribal-inspired artwork.

Mrs Kirkland said the school would be entering the mural artwork into this year’s Resene Mural Masterpieces competition.

She said it was rewarding to work with the children to bring the art together in a way that would let their creativity “shine through” while also being representative of the school, and suited to the Greytown area.

Esther Williams, 9, helped design and paint the ‘S’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Esther Williams, 9, helped design and paint the ‘S’. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

“It’s something the public are going to see, so that was an important factor, and I wanted it to look good because it’s going to be up here for a long time,” she said.

She said the school didn’t have a sign at the entrance before now.

“It was a fabulous project actually, so we’ll wait to see what kind of response we get.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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