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A Mural That Makes You Smile

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Kimberley 33 By Randy Raines

Art Teacher

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

DECEMBER 17, 2020 – Although school does not look or feel the same during the pandemic, teachers and staff at Kimberley Park Elementary have been making changes in and outside of the school since August.

Just because most students are not in the building, that did not stop Art Teacher Randy Raines from helping to brighten up the place with several murals throughout the school.

Principal Diamond Cotton approached Mr. Raines after he was hired to talk with him about changes she wanted to see in the building, including murals on the walls.

“When looking at ways to bring our building to life, my vision is for our building to reflect the differences in our staff and students and the value that each bring to our Kimberley Park family” Cotton said.  

This particular mural is inspired by artist James Rizzi. Raines showed Mrs. Cotton examples of Rizzi’s artwork and asked if he could paint a mural similar to the artist’s work. Mrs. Cotton jumped right on board with the idea.

The mural is a collaborative effort among staff and teachers at the Kimberley Park. Raines asked teachers and staff to volunteer to design a building similar to those done by artist James Rizzi. Raines was overwhelmed by the response of designs he received.

“I wasn’t even able to use them all,” Raines said. “I wanted to do something fun for everyone who enters our building when they are able to return. Plus, I think it is essential to create a welcoming, student centered and kid friendly environment for students.”

Kimberley Mural 44 Mrs. Cotton also added, “When you see the wall now, you see colors, lots of emotions, multiple levels, and even different personalities that make our school amazing.” 

Those that have seen the mural are more than excited about the addition in the hallway of the school.

Parent Involvement Coordinator Mia Parker said, “It really livens up the hallway and I know the kids will love it.”

Johari McRae, a kindergarten teacher who designed a building said, “I am so impressed by the outcome.”

Mrs. Cotton is pleased as well.

According to Cotton, “Everything that we are doing in the re-branding of Kimberley Park is focused on our students and staff.  We need our building to make you feel good, and this wall makes you smile.”