Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 1, 2002
Students create a new creation
St. Laurent art pupils' mosaic gives a legacy to teacher and faith
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Lush, gorgeous flowers, dragonflies, trees - even a blazing sun splash around a two-metre high pillar in Louis St. Laurent School's library.
The tile mosaic depicting the beauty of God's creation was crafted in the blazing colours of the spectrum by several Grade 11 students.
The year-long project gave students Ela Przybylo and Monika Golebpowski great fun and joy.
"It takes a lot of time and effort, but it's kind of like a stress release for me," Przybylo said.
Golebpowski agreed. "I really liked this project. Somehow it feels like I am able to express myself."
The artwork started more than two years ago when the library was renovated. Przybylo and Golebpowski approached Mary Tedder, the art teacher, with their sketched design called Creation.
Along with the images from nature, the young artists included a Bible giving the account of creation in Genesis and a hand, symbolic of God's hand working in creation.
Tedder said, "I could see right away that it would work."
She asked the two students to put the design in colour. By the end of summer, they had it in colour as a design and started to do it in patterns to be transferred onto the pillar.
The project actually began when parents and staff wanted a piece of artwork to be the focal point for the library. They suggested a mural or some other artwork that would stand out, be visual and prominent.
They asked Tedder to sit down and brainstorm with the architect, parents and teachers who ran the committee.
"I suggested a mosaic might be good, because we have some pillars in the library and they could not remove all of them as they were structural to the space."
Originally they planned to use glass tiles but it would have been costly.
With the help of a school alumnus who worked in the tile industry, they found the right materials they needed at a price that they were willing to pay. The budget for the project was $3,200, but it came in under budget.
Execution of the project started on the first week of June 2001, and every day after school the two students would come and work on it for a couple of hours.
The two artists actually created their design in the spring, Przybylo said.
"Everything was blooming and becoming fresh. The beauty of the world around us was just so visible."
Teacher and mentor Tedder also gave evening and weekend hours to the project. And other teachers, staff, parents and alumni and even retired teachers helped in the effort.
The artwork is complete and, interestingly enough, the creators are also facing completions of a different sort. Tedder is leaving the school and moving to Fort McMurray while the designers are going to Grade 12 next school year.
"I think it's a nicer way of closure for the girls, finishing it off at the end of this year rather than extending it till September, " said Tedder.
"Being an art teacher, I think I leave a legacy just with the students I have taught because I meet them years later and I know I left marks that way.
"But it's nice to see a physical remembrance."