New Forest Park tile mural unveiled
KANNAPOLIS — The new tile mural at Forest Park Elementary School was unveiled on June 6.
About 120 fourth-grade students and another 20 or so teachers each sculpted and glazed a clay tile in the mosaic.
They designed their tiles according to a North Carolina theme, depicting a variety of symbols like lighthouses, a tractor, a long leaf pine branch, Grandfather Mountain and more.
The project was funded by an anonymous donor who wanted to sponsor a lasting art project that would involve the children.
The fourth-grade students, who were studying North Carolina in their curriculum, researched symbols related to North Carolina. When they settled on a design, they had to identify whether it came from the coast, piedmont or mountain region of the state.
Debbie DePompa, an art teacher at Forest Park, led the project. Retired art teacher Beth Smithson served as an “artist in residence,” guiding students as they rolled, cut and carved their clay tiles.
The tiles were then fired in a kiln before the students applied colored glazes with a brush. A second firing completed the process.
The finished mural is now displayed in a hallway at Forest Park near the art classroom.