It’s not spring yet, but flowers are in bloom at Perry Elementary School.
These flowers did not come from seeds.
They came from the heart of artist Tim Gibson, who travels the country on a short pink bus covered in the image of flowers.
Gibson’s goal is to paint gardens across the country, interconnected murals of unique floral designs, inspired by the work of artist and native Keith Haring.
His initiative, the 10,000 Flower Project, takes Gibson to 300 towns in 11 states to paint everything from hospitals and schools to small businesses and outdoor fences.
However, Gibson does not paint alone. Each step in his project is a collaboration involving local volunteers. Local volunteers provide wall and painting skills to paint the flowers he draws in his favorite colors.
Currently, his bus, named Petunia, stops outside Perry Elementary School, and thanks to Gibson’s current volunteer, K-5 Elementary School, flowers are on the walls of the school’s three-story stairwell. It is in bloom.
The Hamburg School District part of the project was organized by Laura O’Keefe, an art teacher at Perry Elementary School.
According to O’Keefe, the project will provide students and staff with the very necessary positivity after years of difficult work.
“Thanks to COVID, it seems that our school was no longer happy,” O’Keefe said. “(Projects) are a great way to bring everyone together.”
O’Keefe said the students were thrilled when Gibson boarded the pink bus and have been spending his life ever since.
“When they are painting,” this is the best day of my life, “” I don’t want to leave, “… I just hear them say something like pure joy.” O’Keefe said.
She said she wasn’t the only one having fun.
“Everyone: The teachers and the caretakers are all drawing pictures,” O’Keefe said. “I have a lot of smiles.”
O’Keefe said her goal in this project is also to teach children the value of work by actively participating in every step of the artistic process.
“I hope this instills some work ethic,” O’Keefe said. “Things take time. To look good, you need to put in some work.”
The project at Perry Elementary School started about three weeks ago and will continue until late March, teachers said.
“Laughing, having fun and being there for each other. Working together to create something special that will last for generations. That’s all of the 10,000 flower projects,” Gibson said. Project website..
Students and staff draw 10,000 flowers at a school in northern Burks
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