Thanks to funding from the Princeton Education Foundation, Princeton High School art student Klair Siciliano will lead a project this spring to create a permanent mosaic mural outside one of the high school’s art rooms. Siciliano was chosen to lead the project by art teacher Linda Nickman, who assigned Siciliano a similar project last year to help complete an existing mosaic on a door surround wall inside the art classroom.
This current project is on a grander scale, covering three walls around the entrance to the art classroom, and will be seen by thousands of people - students, faculty and school visitors now and for years to come.
Siciliano was asked to design the mural, which will be filled with colorful tile and glass. Her preliminary concept designs were drawn to scale and shared with PHS principal Gary Snyder and Princeton Superintendent Judy Wilson who jointly approved the project plans.
Princeton High School does not have the budget to support these types of special projects. Enter PEF, a non-profit organization founded to help bring to life innovative projects and programs that fall outside the school district’s means. The mural project won a Princeton Education Foundation mini-grant, funds that teachers may apply for to support specific programs to enhance their classroom teaching.
Last year, 12 projects across the district were supported through PEF mini-grants. Among the many projects are elementary level reading initiatives, middle school applied science and technology projects and enhancement of a high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program with Mindstorm Robotics.
With a $1,000 mini-grant secured by Nickman for the mural, Siciliano was able to begin work. She visited a wholesale tile and glass distributor and acquired the necessary supplies. All PHS Studio Art 3D students will contribute to the project by making small circular tiles with positive phrases and/or images that they choose as a 'legacy' to inspire those who view this large mosaic. These white-on-white tiles will be made from clay and fired in the kiln at the high school, and will unite to form the background and add interest and texture to the psychedelic-colored flower burst design.