Blue Ridge Elementary School pupils are watching history come alive with the stroke of a brush.
Artist Cole Phail is creating a 75-foot mural, From Sea to Shining Sea, on a wall inside the school.
Cole Phail is painting a "freedom mural" in the hallway of Blue Ridge Elementary School. It depicts various events throughout U.S. history.
By Jim Blaylock
"We felt like it was appropriate after September 11," Assistant Principal Jeff Collman said "The kids are able to see history come to life through this mural."
The mural features the Mayflower, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mount Rushmore, cowboys and Indians, the U.S. Capitol, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, the New York skyline, the U.S.S. Cole, a large American flag and an eagle.
"It's an evolution of where we came from to where we are today," Phail said. "It starts with the Mayflower to show our simple beginnings and ends with the U.S.S. Cole to show our military might."
The painting of the mural has created some interesting stories as the children watch its progress.
"It's fabulous with the kids walking by," Collman said. "When he was doing the blue background for the flag, one little girl walked up to him and said, 'I have to tell you something. There needs to be stars on it."'
Phail, 30, a self-taught artist, has also painted murals for Stevens Creek and South Columbia elementary schools, in several private homes and for businesses such as WAGT-TV (Channel 26), Appliance Land and Bob's Tropical Fish.
The mural at Blue Ridge also includes some of the children who go there. In one scene, first-grader Micah Johnson is looking at the countryside through binoculars.
"That's my favorite part," Micah said of the mural.
Mert Keskintepe, a fourth-grader, said he has enjoyed watching the mural evolve.
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