Salem Hyde Students Leave Lasting Impression with Ceramic Tile Art
Published on 2/24/16
District News Salem Hyde Elementary School
The walls of Salem Hyde already have two beautiful art features: a tile mural depicting American history, and another depicting ancient history. Soon, a new mural will be added to the mix, featuring some familiar landmarks from around the City of Syracuse!
Thanks to a grant from the SCSD Educational Foundation, Salem Hyde art teacher Joe Foster allowed a new group of fifth grade students to make their mark on their school. Partnering with Library/Media Specialist Sharon Oliver, students spent two weeks in the library researching buildings throughout the city. At the same time, Mr. Foster taught them about styles of architecture—Victorian, gothic, Romanesque, modern versus older styles and more.
“I wanted the students to gain an appreciation for architecture and the history of Syracuse,” Mr. Foster explained. “This project also allowed them to make connections with their own lives.”
Students selected a building that left an impression on them and drew their own sketch of the structures. Selections ranged from the Carrier Dome to City Hall to Salem Hyde School, the Everson Museum of Art and more.
Gia Cotroneo chose to draw Destiny USA. “It’s so big and it’s been around for a long time,” she explained. “I thought if it’s ever destroyed, now we’ll always have something to remember it by.”
Classmates Julian Tosado and Jayvon Meyer both chose the Niagara Mohawk building, drawn to the sculpture near the building’s peak. “It symbolizes light and the new era of light at the time,” Julian shared. “It was neat to learn about. I saw the old tile murals in school and I wondered where they came from. I learned it was the old fifth graders, and now we’re doing the same thing, so I want to make sure mine is really good!”
Nadia Malone sketched the Jerry Rescue Monument. “I saw it in Syracuse, and for this project I researched to learn more about it,” she said. “Jerry was a slave who escaped and was kept in a police station and then people came to break him out. This monument was built to remember that. My tile kind of makes me scientifically preserved, having my artwork become part of the school!”
That school pride is something Mr. Foster said was a key goal as he wrote the grant request. “The tile mural allows them to contribute to their school through a permanent fixture and will create a lasting impression of their school that they can be proud of. One day, they will come back to visit and their work will still be here.”
Thank you to all of the Salem Hyde fifth graders who participated in this exciting project, and to Mr. Foster and the SCSD Educational Foundation for making it possible. This is one of 19 projects funded in 14 schools this year, totaling $50,000. The SCSD Educational Foundation has funded more than $750,000 in SCSD projects since 2003.