The ‘Magic’ of Tiles: Memorial Spaulding Elementary School unveils Mosaic Mural

PHOTO: Artist David Fichter speaks at the unveiling of the Mosaic Mural at Memorial Spaulding Elementary School. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

Memorial Spaulding Elementary School was the last elementary school in Newton without a mural. With the help of a sea of volunteers, countless hands and thousands of tiles, that problem has been remedied in a most beautiful way.

The PTO held an unveiling ceremony on Thursday to show its new Mosaic Mural to the community, one made of colored tiles depicting the diversity and wonder of childhood.

Art teacher Alexandra Etscovitz led the effort, and students designed the mural with guidance from artist David Fichter.

The Mosaic Mural consists of four panels, each 16 feet tall, covered in multi-colored glass tiles cut by students, staff and parents, to create images of kids playing and learning in nature.

“This day and this project capture the spirit of who we are at our school,” Memorial Spaulding Principal Tom Morris said as he got the ceremony started.

The Mosaic Mural was made possible with multiple fundraisers and a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. It was also made possible with hard work from many hands across the Memorial Spaulding community.

Memorial Spaulding PTO Co-Presidents DayAna Davidou and Margaret Stefater-Richards speak at the unveiling of a new mural at the school. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

“The scale of this project is just so tremendous, and it wouldn’t have happened without the entire community, including parents, students, artists, teachers, alumni and our community members,” Memorial Spaulding PTO President Margaret Stefater-Richards said. “The coming together of tens of thousands of tiles is truly a physical representation of what makes this community so special.”

Fichter, the artist who helped the kids create the mural, spoke about “the magic of art and collaboration.” “Whenever things got difficult, and they did, people would step up to help keep things on track,” Fichter said. “It was truly a wondrous and magical experience on par with the magical experience on par with the magical occurrences of rainbows and solar eclipses that are woven into the content of the mosaic design.”

The Mosaic Mural at Memorial Spaulding Elementary School is made of thousands of tiny tiles in an array of colors arranged to create a picture of kids playing and learning in nature. Photo by Bryan McGonigle