A school of sea life drifted into Harbor View Elementary School last week on the current of student artists' imaginations.
Fish of all sizes, sea lions, whales, dolphins, crabs and even an octopus were painted by students onto ceramic tiles for a fund-raiser. The tiles will make up a mural to be placed near the front of the school.
The tile project raised $3,450, at $30 per tile, to be used for a new kiln, a crayon melter, a jigsaw or band saw and ceramics and other art supplies.
"I'm waiting for paint. I'm going to make them all sorts of colors," said 5-year-old Drew Murtaugh, who fidgeted impatiently over his sea horse motif. "They're my favorite creatures in the sea because they go fast. And I like horses on land and they're called sea horses. "
Marcas Hoffman, 9, worked on a tile showing a submerged school.
"My school is underwater. It has my school and then there's seaweed around it," he said. "And there's a little sign that's supposed to say 'Welcome' on it and it has seaweed around it. And it has a little fish and it says 'Harbor View is the best' on top."
Designs ranged from simple, single images to complex seascapes that young artists drew on paper ahead of time.
The mural will contain 152 tiles: those decorated by students, plus one each for the Parent-Faculty Organization, the teachers, the school's art staff and one for the child who submits the winning entry in a "name the wall" contest.
Art teacher Debi Haymond was pleased about the project, the new kiln and the extra supplies the additional funds will buy.
"We'll probably save some reserve for next year because we don't know what the situation is going to be with the district," she said. "We may need it for regular supplies."