In 2019, the Ashtabula Arts Center partnered with After School Discovery and Ashtabula Area City Schools to create a mural for Erie Intermediate School. The project was possible because of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the mural was created using the polytab technique taught by Greta McClain of Goodspace Murals.
The mural was designed by local artists with input from Erie Intermediate students on images and ideas that should be included, as well as their input on students who strongly represented the values of their school. Pictured in the mural are the three students chosen by their classmates for embodying those values: Oliviah Hall, Harmonie Jones, and La’Ray Hall. The quote that spans the length of the mural reads “There are no strangers, only friends you have yet to meet.” Painted in a rainbow gradient, the quote was a favorite of Oliviah’s — who also loved rainbows.
The imagery in the mural includes all five Great Lakes and all four seasons, as well as indigenous animals representing the seasons, and those that Erie students have studied in their science classes. The maple sugar harvest is shown, representing a field trip students take to Bissell Maple Farm. There are sports from every season featured, an art project that was completed by Afterschool Discovery, a student garden project, Erie’s ROAR acronym, snowmen spelling “OHIO,” and the Lakeside Dragon. The mural also includes original artwork by Erie students.
The mural measures 5′ high by 60′ long, making it longer than the Downtown Ashtabula mural is high, and was designed, painted, and applied by artists Meeghan Humphrey, Ralph Bacon, Nancy Nelson-Brotz, Micheline Guerriero, Susan Tan, Sherrie Beebe, Anziette DiPierro, Freya DiPierro, Becca Stowell, and Jeff Harrington. Painting parties were also held for Erie Intermediate students and their families to take a hands-on role in creating the mural.