The History of the Library Mural

The History of the Library Mural at Fairview

            In the fall of 1994 Ms. Debbie Gay, the Fairview Media Specialist requested that the over hang wall in the school library be painted with characters from children’s literature.

            A sample design was submitted to the principal Mr. Obrien and upon approval, permission was given to being the work.

The wall was divided into panels and eight smaller panels to contain a story script.  The painting was done in polymer acrylic on a latex primer to create a permanent public work of art for Fairview.

The Mural took five years to complete as Ms. Smallwood could only work on it in the early morning, during lunch, afternoon and on teacher workdays.  Students and teachers were very cooperative and patient about the constant disruption of the ladder, brushes, pallets and sketches around the room.

            The work was finished in the Spring of 1999 with the addition of a border and calligraphy titles unifying and completing the mural.

Artist ‘s Statement

When asked to paint this mural for Fairview, I was given complete artistic freedom to create my own vision of these storybook characters.  I believe there should be no absolutes, only options.  Therefore, I selected characters who were not over identified with one particular illustrator, but could be unique to the imagination of the person reading or hearing the story.  Some characters are from very old stories no longer familiar to todays children and some are from popular classics, but all reflect the bond between storytellers, writers, and artists. 

A Fairview generation has grown from kindergarten to fifth grade in the time I started and completed this work.  Many students have moved on to other schools, but I hope seeing the work in progress and the finished mural will inspire my students past, present and future to work hard, use their imagination to turn the dreams they visualize into reality.

 C. R. Smallwood