Indian Lake school mural reflects community's vibrancy

Here is the 115-foot wall mural at the Indian Lake Central School.

Here is the 115-foot wall mural at the Indian Lake Central School. Photo by Bill Quinlivan.

— Walking along the main corridor of the Indian Lake Central School building is now a colorful and vibrant experience.

For approximately 115 feet, from the front office to the glass doors at the end of the hallway and from floor to ceiling, one is visually treated to the representation of a day of living in the Adirondacks.

The colors of the mural are bold, bright, rich, exciting and warm. The viewer is presented with the creatures with whom we share this special place, including the beaver, deer, moose, loon, heron, eagle and bear. Each animal is energetically depicted and takes the viewer through a part of the day in this unique environment. All through the mural, the animals are set-off and surrounded by icons representing the day-part and a montage of Native American symbols from the Abenaki and the Iroquois as an homage to the rich culture each bring to the Adirondacks.

Beyond creating a thing of extraordinary beauty, the mural project, the brainchild of art teacher Lauren Arsenault, had a number of objectives.

The concept was to give all students, Pre-K through grade 12, the opportunity to collaboratively design and paint the mural, knowing the experience would build trust and a sense of community among them. By choosing inspiration from the world around the students, it enabled them to create the mural with symbols and metaphors that were rich with personal meaning to the students, as well as the staff, members of the Board of Education and community volunteers who worked with the students on the project under the guidance of resident artist and muralist Susan Shanley.

“The experience was wonderful for our staff, students and community,” Arsenault said. “It brought us together and was very positive and energizing for all those involved. I wish I had had a tape recorder to record all the positive comments the students made; it was great to hear them have so much enthusiasm for the project and for art. They love the Adirondack animal theme and the bright colors. It was wonderful to have every single student from Pre-k through 12 involved in making their mark on the mural.”

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