Buzz Students Create Mural for MPL

Buzz Students Create Mural for MPL
Posted on 02/15/2024
In September Buzz Aldrin Middle School Mural Painting teacher Lauren Cirrito was asked by the Montclair Public Library if her classes could create a mural for the Children’s Department of the Bellevue Branch, right across the street from the school. Cirrito had worked on a variety of graphic design projects at the library previously. "We were chatting about her work at Buzz Aldrin when we had a lightbulb moment that this would be a wonderful project to work on together. Without her talent and commitment, this would not have been possible," said Library Director Janet Torsney. The Semester 1 Mural Painting students walked over to meet with Children’s Librarian Kristen Comeaux to hear her thoughts for the project, learn about the library, see the space and measure it, and come up with a theme. 

the wall space before“We decided on an ocean theme because we thought it was one everyone could enjoy, especially since the stairs are used by all patrons, not just our children. It was fun to think of descending into the depths of the ocean as someone walks down the stairs,” said Comeaux. “They discussed the different depths of the ocean water and how that could be displayed using color as well as how each individual would bring their own unique creation with their ocean animal.”

Working with an actual-size section of the wall space in the classroom, students first painted the underwater background in sections, with acrylic paint on mural cloth. Next, they researched the sea creature they chose to paint, and got to work drawing, cutting out, and painting those as well. The last week of the semester, the mural was installed at the library and students were able to put their own sea creatures up on the underwater wall. 

"We are so excited to be working with Buzz students on this project. We've always valued them as neighbors and now the students and their talents are, literally, part of our children's library," said Torsney. "Ms. Cirrito helped us envision what the space could be and how the students' incredible talent and energy could be part of that." 

“We adore the finished project!” added Comeaux. “It's so fun to see the youngest children climb the stairs and point out the different sea creatures. All of our patrons are enjoying it.”

mural in the classroom  students painting mural
From the classroom to the installation.

Last spring Cirrito’s class created artwork for the newly renovated headquarters of the Montclair Ambulance Unit on Walnut Street and are thrilled to be able to contribute to the community again. “With Buzz Aldrin Middle School being Montclair’s STEAM magnet middle school, this project was a perfect mix of art and science in action,” said Cirrito.

underwater mural
The finished mural.

An adjacent section of wall will be painted with the same ocean theme by the current Semester 2 Mural Painting class. Confirmed Comeaux, “We are already in discussions about continuing the mural into Kid's Place, and we cannot wait for the transformation it will bring our library.” 

“It was such an honor to be asked by Montclair Public Library to create this project, and our students appreciate the significance of being able to create public art in our community,” said Cirrito.

A ceremony will be held in early June to officially unveil the mural to families and to the public.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.