Brick Elementary uses artwork to better reflect the 'lively and creative' school
Courtesy of David Northrop
Brick Elementary School is continuing to take on the task of decorating its facility — inside and out — with art projects created by students, faculty and community members.
The school, located at 8970 Whittaker Road, has made its most recent project the painting of a cement median, which divides the two sides of the parent pick-up and drop-off loop.
“It’s a cement median just like the ones used on I-94,” Brick Elementary School Principal David Northrop said. “It was functional, but to be quite honest it looked very dull and lifeless. Now, when people pass by, it looks like there is life in this building.”
With the help of art teacher Laura Angel, Northrop’s wish to transform the median for the benefit of the school and the community became a reality.
“This median sits at the busiest intersection in our community so it benefits not just the students and faculty who can see it from the building, but also anyone who drives by,” Northrop said.
Angel reached out to staff members, students, parents and community members to help with the project.
Beginning July 8, about 30 people came out to help with the three-day project, Northrop said. About 10 of the people involved with the project were students at Brick Elementary.
Inspired by a fence in the Ann Arbor area, Angel developed a design for the median, which was then approved by the superintendent and a few school board members.
Courtesy of David Northrop
“The once unattractive median is now a floral scene,” Northrop said. “The bottom is blades of grass with a blue sky above it and then flowers set over the sky. It resembles a crayon drawing.”
Northrop said the newly painted median is now a better reflection of the school — lively and creative.
A 24-foot mural for the inside of the building is also underway. The artwork, depicting children’s hands in the sky, will be hung this summer.
“The building was recently renovated and repainted and the result was a very clean looking school, but it needed to be spruced up,” Northrop said. “The past year was my first as principal at Brick Elementary and I came in with a fresh eye and made a commitment to work with people and help beautify the building.”
Throughout the school year, murals were painted on ceiling tiles and on the wall of the cafeteria. Historic photos of the building were hung and landscaping projects have been ongoing.
The projects were funded by money raised through fundraising efforts made throughout the year, Northrop said.
“Our district has a tradition of getting together and rolling up its sleeves when something needs to be done,” Northrop said. “That goes back to our founding in 1924.”
Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.