MHS Ceiling Tiles

by Pam Elwell and Mandi Favreau

If you’ve never looked up as you are walking through Messalonskee High School, you’ve really been missing out.  MHS students have been demonstrating their art skills on the school’s ceiling tiles since the early 2000s.  

The original were single projects for some advanced art students in Leone Donovan’s art class.  Meghan OBoyle chose to do a tile in the style of artist  Father Paul Plante and Lee Elwell (daughter of MHS IT Ed Tech Pam Elwell) did the second one, patterned after the style of Henri Matisse.  The project gained popularity and quickly became the capstone project for all Advanced Art classes. Wendy Burton’s Intermediate Art classes added the projects a couple years in.  

“The assignment was to find a master artist,” said Ms. Donovan, “do research on him or her, [and] develop an original design ‘in the style of.’’  The border information of each tile includes the name of the master artist the work is patterned after and the student artist’s name and graduation year.  

The tiles in the 200 wing, which is where the school’s English classes are held, still have to incorporate the style of a particular artist, but also connect with great works of literature.  The entrance to the third floor features a few science themed tiles from independent art students. In more recent years the tiles have started to spread into classrooms, based around the topics that are taught there.    

Next time you are in the school, turn your gaze upward for a few steps.  You won’t be disappointed, but if you want a way a more ergonomically friendly way to view these tiles, please enjoy the slideshow below.

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photos taken by Pam Elwell


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