Gossips doesn't usually print press releases, but we liked this story and wanted to share it, just as it was received. The photographs are by Jesse Turnquist.
One spring morning a couple months ago, local artist, Ieva Mediodia, dropped her six-year-old daughter off for a day of school at John L Edwards Primary School in Hudson. As she walked the halls of smiling children, she started to feel that the walls somehow didn't fit the dynamic energy of their inhabitants.
As she walked home through the blossoming trees of downtown, Ieva (pronounced Yeh-vah) pondered on how, with all the recent budgetary issues, could she get some color on those walls. The answer would lie within herself, in fact the answer was herself. She could donate her time and skills to liven up the school.
It so happened that on the other side of town local promoter and graphic designer Andrew Nelson of Down In The Valley was sealing a deal to work with Hudson Paint, a local company whose flagship product is chalkboard paint offered in a bold array of colors. When Ieva met with Andrew for coffee shortly thereafter and shared her idea, it was a no-brainer to get Hudson Paint involved. It wasn't long before Ieva was armed with the tools she needed to get the job done. She had the will, the brushes, and the paint, now she only needed permission. Off to the principal's office she went.
It was then, after little convincing, that Principal Steven Spicer opened the doors to Ieva and her brushes to what turned out to be several after-hours painting sessions. The end result was a colorful revamp of murals in the cafeteria and select hallways and stairwells.
What started as a simple gesture of kindness has become a truly interactive experience. Since the murals were done with Hudson Paint's Chalkboard paint, the children have taken to the cafeteria with chalk and have started to freely expand their creativity. The largest of Mediodia's contributions, a floor to ceiling tree in the entrance of the cafeteria/auditorium, has been decorated with squirrels, stars, and swirls drawn by children and their classmates. Teachers have embraced this creativity as well by adding handprint cutouts made by their classes as part of an out-of-classroom project.
Ieva's efforts are a shining example of how one person's positive energy can bring about positive change and motivate and inspire members of a community. There is hope that she will be the first of many other artists who will contribute to splashing color to the now flat walls of JLE Primary School . . . now that the lid is off the proverbial can.