WELLINGTON, Fla. — A splash of color and inspiration is taking shape at Wellington Landings Middle School.
Artists Kole Trent and Nick Ringelstetter donated their time to paint four murals on exterior walls in key parts of the campus. As the bell rings and students flood out of classrooms, their eyes scan the paintings, which evolved during the course of several days.
Ringelstetter says when he was in middle school himself, he didn't know he could become an artist one day. Now, he is at a stage in his career when he can give back to a younger generation.
"That's the end goal, is to find little versions or younger versions of me that I can help push forward," said Ringelstetter.
The murals show a range of fanciful scenes and moments of reality. The colors are powerful against the mostly neutral walls and surfaces.
The artists believed that the act of painting in front of the children is part of what is important in the process.
"It's cool to be able to show the kids that progress, and all of the techniques that we build within our work, to give it that depth and all the lighting that it needs," explained Trent.
Principal Blake Bennett has been delighted and amused by the response of students, describing their reaction as "enamored."
"The kids are funny, they're like, 'Everywhere needs a mural! We should put one in the cafeteria. We need one in the bathroom.' They want murals everywhere," she said.
Eighth grade student Taylor said, "It's nice to see how everything is being created and just how things come alive in the school and it makes it brighter."
Ainsley, an eighth grader, says the process has been interesting to watch.
"Just walking by the murals, they add depth and color to the school especially," Ainsley said.
The artists said it is key the children see the sky is the limit when picturing the future.
Trent explained, "Middle school was actually my biggest part of my life in in my art career because my middle school art teacher was actually who inspired me to continue on in my whole path," he said.
— Ashleigh Walters (@AshleighWalters) January 15, 2019