Inspiring Spaces for Students

May 9, 2024
Teacher stands with a student next to the underwater art mural they created.

Part of maintaining a safe and supportive environment includes offering spaces for students to take a break, release or regulate emotions, and ultimately, prepare to return to their activities. Therapeutic support staff use these spaces throughout the day to assist students in their daily routine.

Sharing a Passion for Art

Clearpool campus teacher Evan Samuelson brings a special set of skills as an accomplished artist. He often shares his passion with students through a variety of projects. First, he created a scenic nature landscape that evolved into an athletics-themed mural surrounding the interior of the campus gym. Then, he “re-invented” the space in the student support building, with the help of the students, themselves.

“I see first-hand how freeing and connective art can be for the students. I often utilize life skills classes to lean into certain art activities,” says Evan. “Here, I wanted to create a more inviting space and promote a sense of ownership. In addition, I feel it also provides a positive mental connection during a time of dysregulation.”

The Mural Process

To create a mural, Evan typically paints the background and adds white outlines for the students to paint in. He then works on unfinished areas or refines some elements for overall cohesion. “Also, I use an old overhead projector to provide stencils for the kids to use, and to show them how the creative process can be broken down to be much more attainable,” he says. “It’s a full-on collaboration.”

The result has been three full-wall murals that a number of Clearpool students have contributed to, and can look to as a source of pride. Plus, Evan promises more projects to come!

Green Chimneys School academics are complemented by age-appropriate, therapeutic educational programs offered to students in all grades as part of their weekly class schedule. Many incorporate Green Chimneys’ unique nature-based approach, providing experiential learning and opportunities to develop important skills. Get to know Green Chimneys and take the first steps in exploring our therapeutic school