Service Through Art

Emma Coppola, News Editor

This summer, students of Marco Island Academy were presented with a great way to volunteer for their community. Since volunteering is a necessity for graduation, many students are taking this as a way to kill two birds with one stone: help complete their volunteering hours, and also help the school complete an art request from the public. That being said, Rob Eder, the director of the Art Program here at MIA, has accepted yet another great opportunity for students to participate in.

Earlier this year, Rob Eder accepted an opportunity to create an art mural for the Marco Island Historical Society. Mr. Eder says “They asked us to do a type of mural. We worked on the mural and then installed it there in November; it then stayed up until February.” This project for the students made them feel apart of the community and showed them they can make a difference for the school. Mr. Eder goes on to say, “At the time, Rookery Bay Nature Reserve saw the mural for the Historical Society. Educational Outreach contacted me and said they have a big, white wall they were wanting to fill. The wall runs pretty long and has three screens on each side of it.” He further added, “They want specific things. Images on the mural should incorporate biological diversity and environmental protection.”

  In an email sent to Mr. Eder from Jeannine Windsor, another person working on the project, Jeannine mentions how she was thinking of other ideas for the mural to start the process. She introduces the ideas of a “person looking into a microscope – surrounding shape blown up plankton and life cycles/diversity, person reaching down into a turtle nest – surrounding shape incorporates protection, person on boat – measuring a shark – surrounding shape incorporated food web/relationships and child looking into fish tank – surrounding shapes incorporates education/ learning.” Jeannine brought up other ideas for the mural, “Staff actions could be represented by small silhouettes and the dynamic of the shapes would incorporate/interpret that the staff is doing and its importance, but blown up to be much larger than the human.” Working together, Rob Eder and Jeannine Windsor both brought up ideas for the mural and agreed on everything they discussed.

The message of this mural is going to revolve around ocean life, impacting all age groups. The importance of the message is very empowering as it captures the crushing reality of the deteriorating conditions of our waters. A few of the MIA students that are helping to create this mural are Melissa Mendez, Angel Owen-Turner, Sarahi Lopez, Marley Wilson, Kloie Whitman, among others. Discussions regarding their roles for the mural have already taken place and are now set in stone. Once the end of the school year rolls around, these students will be ready to start working on the mural and helping in any way they can.

The official location of the mural is the Rookery Bay Field Station. Students will be there and working diligently over the course of June. Not only will students be a part of something bigger for the community, but they’ll also be raking in volunteer hours to help complete their 100-hours graduation requirement.