A year in the making; Lake Bluff Elementary literally trumpeted in a new piece of artwork adorning the archway immediately inside its entrance.
"It's beautiful," said Principal Kirk Juffer. "It's going to say children creativity and good energy for everyone who walks through those doors. I feel it's a pretty strong statement about the arts here in Shorewood and the arts at Lake Bluff."
Parents, teachers and students attended an unveiling ceremony Tuesday evening on the front steps of the school. Trumpeters led the large crowd into the school as they took an initial peak at the new mural.
Last year, every student used their hands to sketch and mold a clay tile into a work of art — creating some 560 pieces. "Tile ninjas" then worked over the summer transforming the hundreds of piece of clay into the mural, replacing glass display cases that previously coated the archway.
Kevin Karman, an art teacher at Lake Bluff, oversaw students as they created their clay tiles last year and likened the mural to a local Hollywood Walk of Fame for elementary school students.
"I think people will really get an idea of what this place is all about," he said. "It's about family, it's about kids, it's about creativity."
Peder Hegland, a professional potter from Minnesota and the artist-in-residence who oversaw the tile project said the “incredible sea of kids” at Lake Bluff, who worked together to make the project happen, amazed him.
"I'm very grateful to have been apart of this project," he said. "From now on, it will be the first thing everyone sees as they go through the front door."
Hegland did a similar project in Atwater Elementary’s cafeteria in 2005.
In addition to the tiles, the mural includes a water design, bordering and a fish at the top of the archway designed by Juffer and his wife, symbolizing former Lake Bluff teacher Al Fish who donated the money to make the project possible.