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Marcellus students, community prep to paint

The concept of a public mural project in Marcellus is not a new one, but it took pairing the community with talented young artists at Marcellus High School to get the paintings -- finally -- off the ground.

A year ago, Betty Tross questioned then-mayor Michael Plochocki about plans to paint the wide-open exterior wall of Nojaim's with a mural that would greet motorists as they drove into the village, and why not enlist the talented art students at the high school to create such a work of art?

Tross' suggestion has since lead to the formation of the Marcellus Mural Committee, which approached the school with a concept for what committee members hope will be the first in a series of murals throughout the community.

Marcellus AP art students Colin Hewitt, Brennen Dooley, Zoe Mullan-Stout, Annie Dailey and Zach Garrison will spend the summer painting the mural onto four 8-by-16 foot panels, which will be installed onto the parking-lot side of Nojaims. The design for the piece was inspired by the 1916 Olde Home Days parade, known to be the biggest parade in Marcellus, and was compiled by students Maggie Tone and James Oldaker, with help from Peg Nolan and Mayor John Curtin.

The image will show a 1916-era automobile "packed with kids," similar to photos of that year's actual parade, Nicholas said. Students painting the mural will use photos of themselves around age 5 or 6 to paint the faces of the car's passengers.

Students met last week with well-known muralist Tony Clubine, who offered tips for the large-scale project, and plan to begin applying the design to the panels this week.

The panels will all be painted at school throughout the summer, then installed on the side of Nojaims.

High school art teacher Donna Nicholas said in her 26 years teaching at Marcellus, this would be the first time students have gone into the community with their art as part of a school-related project.

"This is the first time we've gone off-campus with something," Nicholas said.

The committee hopes it won't be the last, though. Nicholas said they hope that other local businesses will be interested in having murals painted on their buildings, as well.

Nicholas and fellow MHS art teacher Tara Charles both belong to the committee, which also includes Julie Brissette, Karen Hanford, John Curtin, Debbie Glisson, Scott McClurg, Ruth Anne Reagan, Peg Nolan, Wayne LaFrance, Tony Clubine, Will Hoyt, Kelly Pangman, and, of course, Betty Tross.

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