Artist paints anti-bullying mural

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Added: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 8:36pm
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Painting the anti-bullying mural from left: Maggie Lemay, Avery Mohr, Lila Galipeau, Keira Cameron and Marcio Melo.

Allyson Beauregard

SHAWVILLE - Starting February 12, local artist, Marcio Melo, with help from 25 students, began painting an anti-       bullying themed mural at McDowell Elementary School.
Students from grades 3-6 were pre-selected by the school to participate in the project, which was completed February 14. “The theme has to do with the four pillars of anti-bullying, which describe how we can help stop bullying, such as asking an adult for help,” said Melo, noting that the project was funded by the Culture in Schools program. 
The three day project began with a day of preparation where Melo and the students drew their designs on paper and discussed the theme of the mural. Afterwards, the team prepared the       surface by painting the various            background colours. “We then painted our designs on the background. This is the most challenging part because the         students had to choose the colours they used based on the different colours of the backgrounds,” said Melo. The design was first outlined in permanent black marker, and then completed using acrylic paints and pencils.        
Melo explained that he loves working with children. “I don’t treat them like   students. I treat them as potential artists, and believe they are. I don’t teach them how to paint etc., I teach them how to express themselves through art, and how to free themselves from barriers restricting that expression,” said Melo.
Melo is a figurative painter living in Bristol. In addition to his exhibitions and being a member of the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour, over the last 14 years he has conducted over 140 mural workshops with students in every corner of Quebec. “It is an opportunity for me to foster the principles of cooperation, compromise, order and balance, that are so much a part of my creative process, to create monumental works of art,” concluded Melo.