By: Melissa A. Kay
Walk through the main front doors of Tinc Road School and you will see a dramatic change that is full of color, creativity, and childhood dreams. A brand new mural spanning over 100 feet is finally complete, adding an eye-catching flair to the formerly less-adorned walls students and faculty had gotten used to seeing. A combination of talent, hard work, cooperation, and lots and lots of paint made this magical work of art come to life, bringing a beautiful taste of all things Mt. Olive to the school from the painters’ perspectives.
As Tinc Road School Principal Scott Lipson explains, “The mural represents an appreciation of our community and what has made Mt. Olive such a great place to live in, and the features of our school that make it such a great place to learn in. On one side of the hallway, there are local landmarks like the Mt. Olive Library, Turkey Brook Park, Budd Lake, and Pax Amicus. The other side of the hallway highlights our school, like our Variety Show, our students’ interest in sports and academics, our playground and buddy bench, and our annual Tug of War championship during Field Day.” This combination of area attractions and personal favorites is a testament of how beloved Mt. Olive is to those who live there. Residents can now see how the Tinc mural captures these hometown treasures, something that will welcome students to school each and every day for years to come.
While this mural is quite the masterpiece, it is actually not the first the school has displayed. Lipson shares, “This is the first time something this massive has been done at our school. A Girl Scout troop created a mural in our cafeteria many years ago, but nothing this large that involved all of the students.” Speaking of involvement, Lipson notes how everyone chipped in to make the magnificent mural come to life. “During the first week, the muralist (Ms. Olmsted) sketched everything out, while parent volunteers helped paint the backgrounds, the sky, etc. During the second week, every class came for a 45-minute period to learn about the process and paint a portion of the mural. Parent volunteers also assisted during this time with spills and putting students’ handprints in the grass. The last week had the muralist and some parents put final touches on the mural.” From an idea came a work of art!
Why the mural? Aside from paying homage to Mt. Olive and all its finest features, Lipson says, “I like when the students can all collaborate on something together. Last year, our art teacher brought in a mosaic artist to create mosaic panels that are now hung up in our foyer. I had worked with Ms. Olmsted in my previous district, and since our school just went through a major renovation over the summer, I thought it would be a great initiative for this year.”
And this mural may not be the last Tinc students and staff will create collaboratively. The process and teamwork was such a success, not to mention the end result which is truly remarkable. Lipson hopes to do something special like this again in the future, allowing for a new set of students to get in on the artwork action. “We received the funding for this project through an NJEA Pride Grant, so we might take a break for a year before we start requesting something like this again. We loved having Ms. Olmsted here, so I would love to bring her back in the future. I’ve got some ideas!” The only question is if there’s enough hallway space left!
Kids and adults alike are in awe of the new mural, noticing interesting and intricate new details every time they stop and stare. The engagement and enjoyment the students had while the mural was underway was something the staff loved witnessing, and “everyone involved is proud to leave a lasting mark on the school,” beams Lipson.
The Mt. Olive community is one of caring, commitment, and dedication, something the folks at Tinc certainly take to heart. Only people who truly adore their environment and those they share it with can create a visual representation that truly reflects their fondness of the place they call home.