New Mural in OHS Cafeteria Incorporates Student Drawings

Superintendent Michael S. Nelson and Old Hammondtown School Principal Kevin Tavares are pleased to share the completion and official dedication of a new mural in the school’s cafeteria, created based on student drawings.

            Visiting artist Bren Bataclan worked with last year’s fourth grade students to begin creating the mural. He began with a drawing demonstration, explaining how simple it is to draw his style of characters, and there is no right or wrong way to illustrate them. Then the students created funny and creative food-related characters. Some of the characters included a broccoli running on a treadmill, a strawberry skateboarding and a sushi riding a bicycle.

            Bataclan took each student artist’s unique character — over 60 – and painted them on the walls of the Old Hammondtown School cafeteria during the summer of 2023. The finished product includes work by each student and the words “Think, Learn, Care,” which is a message promoted within the school community each day.

            The cafeteria mural is the largest mural Bataclan has produced. He returned to Old Hammondtown School in September to celebrate the new mural and officially dedicate it.

            “It was great to see how excited the student artists were when they came back to school this year and saw their work in the new mural,” Principal Tavares said. “The OHS cafeteria is now a much more cheerful and colorful place to enjoy lunch, and Bren’s program provided a valuable message of using art to spread kindness and generosity.”

            Bataclan is a Boston-based artist who has been giving away paintings around the world by leaving them in public spaces with a note saying, “This painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often.” Since 2003 he has given away over 3,000 paintings in over 70 countries and in all 50 U.S. states.

            Bataclan has also been spreading his kindness-related street art project with schools for over 15 years. His school program promotes positive messages of kindness and sharing via art.

             “We are grateful to Bren for working with our student artists and making this such a fun and meaningful process,” Superintendent Nelson said. “We also thank the Mattapoisett PTA Arts and Humanities Committee for its generous support of this project.”

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