The kids at Deer Park Elementary School became a little bit more "enlightened" when they received a beautiful new mosaic for the doorway of their school on Monday.
Monte Moore, a retired art teacher, expert glass artist, and dad to 2nd grader, Hattie, re-vamped the entrance to the school by creating this beautiful mosaic to hang over the doorway.
"It's a wonderful thing to have in a school," said Monte. "I just happen to have the skill set to make it happen."
And although perfectly qualified and capable to do a project like this solo, from a workshop of his own, Monte did not work alone to create this 6-piece project.
Beginning in May, he began laying out the drafts for the mosaic, and by September, he enlisted the help of the entire school.
From students, to faculty, to janitors and lunch ladies, everyone had the opportunity to lay at least a few pieces of the 10,000 little pieces of colorful glass used to create the mosaic.
"It's a way to give back to the community," said Monte. "That's what the window is, a community of hands all putting this together."
Another reason why Monte wanted to do this project was because he worries schools are focusing too much on screens and technology.
"I'm worried about the direction of technology pulling from the opportunity to create with the hands," said Monte.
He hoped to instill a sense of creativity and art within the students in creating this mosaic.
"Schools need to have what art gives them, it's magical," explained Monte. "When you see the faces of the kids, and they're going to an art thing, it gives them so much, [they can] discover their hidden little talents."
The mosaic, inspired by Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," seems to have done just what Monte envisioned - got them thinking creatively.
"I see different swirls, in the night sky," explained Monte's daughter Hattie. She described the mosaic as "rainbow colored like a comet coming down from the sky, it's just amazing."
Second grader Carter Rich seems something else.
"I see the reflection of earth and the sun, it's kind of like paradise," he said.
And, principal Bonnie Remington is thankful for this new addition to her school for yet another reason.
"Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have starry nights," she explained. "The message is that kids and parents can do anything they accomplish, so put your face to the stars and let's do everything we can, especially in education today."
Monte's hope is that people feel welcomed and inspired by the mosaic that will now greet everyone who comes into the school because he believe this specific type of art is truly "music for the eyes."