A new mural, painted by local artist Garry Brookes, was officially unveiled at Neilson Grove Elementary School on Thursday, May 11 during the Parent Advisory Committee’s (PAC) annual Fair.
The project for a new mural was initiated by the previous principal, Danica Palmer who worked with the PAC and school community on fundraising initiatives for it. At the first PAC meeting of the school year in September, the new principal Jann Kwasnicki mentioned that they were ready to begin work on the mural and were looking for an artist. “I was overjoyed the next day when Bernice Brookes, a parent of a Neilson Grove kindergarten student emailed me to say her husband is an artist and could probably design and paint the mural,” said Principal Kwasnicki.
Neilson Grove’s mascot has always been a griffin, a symbol of courage, leadership, and strength.
Garry’s design features a majestic looking griffin that students see as soon as they enter the main entrance doors to the school.
“My daughter is in kindergarten and so Neilson Grove will be her school for many years,” said Garry. “I wanted to contribute something to the school community that was meaningful and would bring pride.”
“I can’t imagine how many hours Garry put into creating this original design,” said Principal Kwasnicki. “During Spring Break, Garry spent several long days completing the mural so that students came back to this amazing surprise! We are so thankful to Garry – not only has he gifted us with an incredible piece of art, the griffin brings huge pride to our school, connects us all and will encourage school spirit at Neilson Grove for years to come.”
Garry Brookes and Principal Kwasnicki at the official unveiling of the mural on May 11.