Ross Road Elementary School has a unique multi-cultural population. Three different areas feed into the school. It is situated in Lower Lawrencetown, Halifax County, Nova Scotia on the edge of Dartmouth. Students from that area attend as well as students from Nelson Whynder in North Preston, one of the oldest African-heritage areas of Nova Scotia (entering in grade 5), and also students from Atlantic View Elementary, from Seaforth to Lawrencetown (entering in grade 6 or 7). In 1998 the principal at the time initiated a series of three wall murals to celebrate and document the coming together of these communities.
 R.R.mural 1

 The three murals in the series are each six feet by six feet. I used the quilt designs to bring the paintings together because it felt like a great way to bring the communities together, separate yet interwoven. The ocean blue in the border represents the Lawrencetown area and the African colours and designs represent the North Preston area.

 

 

 

The first mural is called "What My Community Means To Me". Twenty-four grade 6 students of 1998 made drawings of what was important to them in their community. The students' drawings were used as the basis for the children to paint their part of the mural. I made stencils of the border designs which the students used to print on the border colours.

 

 The second mural in the series is called "The History of Our Communities". The inter-relation of the communities goes back to the early settlements of the areas. I spent time researching at both the Cole Harbour Library and at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherrybrook, Nova Scotia (which is depicted in the bottom left square). Twenty-four grade 6 students of 1999 chose historical themes from their communities to depict on their part of the mural. The borders once again represent in colour and design North Preston and Lawrencetown. A map of the area is in the center of the quilt.

 R.R.mural 2

 

 R.R. mural 3

 

 The last mural in this series was done by the grade 6 students of 2000. It is "The Faces of Our Communities". The students painted self-portraits. The borders again represent communities in colour and design. The school logo and name were done by Junior High students during an art Exploratory.

 

 

Hurricane Juan Mural

 

  Juan Mural Ross Road

 

 This mural was done with a grade 3 / 4 Elementary class. Hurricane Juan was devistating for many
of the children of the Lawrencetown area. Drawing and painting this mural gave them
an outlet to express their experiences.

 

 

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© Marlene York 2001