Splashes of color in the form of a 75-square-foot mural now adorn an interior hallway of the Chadds Ford Elementary School as part of this year's Art in Action project.

The mural, consisting of five panels, each 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall, depicts scenes and sights in and around the Chadds Ford area during the colonial period.

Every student in the school took part, with each drawing one or more scenes for a total of 300 individual pieces.

Artist Paul Scarborough transferred the work to the canvases. The students painted the scenes, with help from Scarborough.

"There were two painting sessions," said Scarborough. "They learned how to mix and apply paint, learned how to use a brush and that mixing blue and yellow makes green."

Scarborough also painted the background. He had help with that and with transferring the individual images from paper to canvas from six students, Piotr Kowalski, Chris Parramore, David Brooks, Ryan Dunn, Virginia Jackson and T. Johnathan Jackson.

As a thank you, Scarborough gave each of the six autographed sketchbooks.

Scarborough spent numerous hours at the school for more than a month working on the project, according to Principal Charlene Stone.

"He would come in early in the morning and leave late in the afternoon. He didn't have a parking space of his own but we all knew his van," she said. "He spent more days here than I can count."

She said Scarborough had had a strong, positive impact on the students in ways that may not be obvious for years to come.

Art in Action co-chair Amanda Konyk also said Scarborough had been more than generous with his time. The other co-chair was Stacey Simmons.

The mural is titled "Historic Chadds Ford," a name chosen in a naming contest. Students Meghan Pierson and Aimee-Curtis-Traviglini came up with the name.

Three of the five panels show a touch of humor with the image of town crier based loosely on a contemporary journalist who is well known in Chadds Ford.

Murals are not new to the school. There had been one before but that was destroyed during the renovation four years ago. The panels of the new mural are suspended from the ceiling in the hallway to the right of the main entrance, and can be removed if the wall needs repair or painting.

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