Dr. David Ryan, Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Media Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Stratham Memorial School Students Create Murals with Local Artist to Celebrate Building’s 30th Anniversary
STRATHAM — To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Stratham Memorial School, students worked with a local artist to create several tile murals that will be displayed outside the building.
Students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade spent the end of April working with Epping native and ceramic tile artist, Robert Rossel to create handmade works of art.
Throughout the week of April 22, Rossel visited students in Katelynn Dow’s art class and worked with each grade to put together murals that are visually connected to the school and town.
“This project was so fun for students because it allowed them to work with a variety of mediums to create the murals,” Dow said. “I think we came up with some amazing pieces that students, parents and the entire SAU 16 community will be proud to see on our building for years to come. We want to thank Robert for taking the time to visit us here at SMS and guide us through the process.”
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students created a wolf to represent the school’s mascot, while first grade students carved a tree to symbolize growth and learning. Second and third grade students depicted areas of Great Bay, with fourth graders illustrating Stratham Hill Park and fifth grade students making a map of Stratham — all of which pay tribute to the community where students reside.
Each mural is 5 feet in length and height and is made up of 100 tiles, except for the Great Bay mural, which includes 200 tiles and measures 10 feet in length.
To create the designs, Rossel first described the process behind ceramic art, which includes taking a design and using a mathematical grid system to enlarge and keep the tiles in order. He then demonstrated how to create texture pieces by using tools and stamps in the clay.
Students were able to express their creativity with seashells, rubber stamps, rubber fish and lizards, wooden stamps and metal stamps. On each mural, surrounding the main design, tiles are covered in prints of flowers, butterflies, trees, hearts and more.
SMS staff also got involved in the project, creating a Stratham Memorial School front sign, which features flowers, butterflies and other natural elements.
Next week, a small group of SMS teachers and staff will travel to Rossel’s studio in Epping to glaze the tiles. The process includes a combination of glazes and recycled glass that is melted into the textures on the tiles.
The murals are scheduled to be installed and unveiled during the first week of June.