Artist Paul Scarborough is taking his fondness for Chadds Ford Elementary School to another level. In addition to being the featured artist in this year's school Art Show and Sale, Scarborough is helping students create a new mural for the school's first floor hallway.
There was a mural in the school before, but it was painted over during the renovation. Members of the PTO sought Scarborough's assistance and he came up with the idea for the students to draw and paint a walking map of significant Chadds Ford locations.
Scarborough took time last week to speak with each grade level at the school, preparing the youngsters for what they'll be doing - sketching and drawing the mural he will design as part of this year's Art-in-Action project.
The mural will consist of five panels, each 3 feet wide and 5 feet high. One panel will be assigned to a grade, with kindergartners and first-graders sharing a panel.
Each panel will feature landmarks in and around Chadds Ford. One panel will depict the Barns-Brinton House, another the John Chad House, the third will show Washington's Headquarters, the fourth Lafayette's Headquarters and the last will show the Barns 1704 House.
In addition to sketching and painting, with bright acrylic paint, students will add their owns ideas drawing in people in colonial garb and animals.
Scarborough told the students they would have to study the colonial period to gain an understanding of what they'll be drawing.
"Learn how people lived in those days," he told the first-graders. "Draw from those ideas."
But there was more to Scarborough's design, a desire to give something that he didn't get as a kid.
"There are one to three kids in each class who enjoy art more than the others. I was like that but no one helped me [learn]. No on inspired me. If I had gotten help early I'd be further along today. I want to get them rolling," said Scarborough.
Scarborough's fondness for the school is well known. He is the featured artist in this year's CFES Art Show and Sale (March 31 and April 1,) and was quted in the Chadds Ford Post last week as saying that the school and the show bring a sense of community and family.
Amanda Konyk, Art-in-Action co-chair along with Stacey Simmons, said the sketching would begin sometime in April with an official unveiling at the end of May. In between there will be a naming contest.
"It's great to have the kids draw and paint with a famous artist," Konyk said.
And the project, she said, is fitting for Chadds Ford.
"This is a place where the past meets the present and the future. Paul's project goes along with that, involving the kids with art and history," she said.
She is also thrilled to have a person of Scarborough's caliber. "He's such a giving person. ... He's generous with his time and his talent.
Apparently parents are equally thrilled. Konyk related two days after Scarborough spoke to the students that parents were filling her e-mail with photos and stories of historic homes.
"It's a wonderful way for kids to learn about local history," said Konyk.