FALCONER – The entrance to the Ellicott Police Department has received a colorful upgrade thanks to a handful of Falconer high school students.
The students, including Natalie Kinney, Andrea Conner, Alexis Adam, Ellie Arnone, Miranda McKane and Emily Kanouff, began painting a mural Monday morning in the stairwell leading to the Police Department – located at South Work Street Town Hall . The wall now features the Police Department crest and badge, as well as several stars and stripes.
The group was led by Aleida Foulk, an art teacher at Falconer Middle-High School, who was approached by William Ohnmeiss Jr., head of the Ellicott Police Department, about creating a mural.
“I kind of picked these kids knowing that they took the advanced classes and know how to paint and what I would expect from them.” said Foulk, who previously taught in elementary school and has known the students for years. “At the start of the year, we started talking about making a mural, but we were still hybrids. We still couldn’t quite figure out how we were going to come together, when we were going to get together. But as the year progressed we started to meet a bit and just discuss ideas. We kind of sketched out some things and they got really excited.
The group of six students, known as “Wall team” and entering their senior year in the fall, they created tie-dye shirts and decided “this is how we wanted to end the year”, Foulk said, “Because our year started so strangely and a lot of the kids were really isolated. And as art students some of them are in a choir or a group or sometimes sports teams, it was really nice to be able to put together a team of kids who were going to work on something really big. They were really excited about doing something that was community-based and trying to get more involvement between the police department and our schools. “
Many students are part of the Honor Society, and the creation of the mural will help them secure volunteer hours. It’s a win-win for the Ellicott Police, noted Ohnmeiss, who was amazed at the group’s skill and pace.
“I’ve wanted to do this for years anyway,” Ohnmeiss said he had a mural painted outside the police department. “Their talents are just amazing. It’s more than we could have hoped for, and again, it’s just good community interaction with the kids.
Running out of free time outside of school, Adam said taking art classes allowed her to focus on herself. “I feel like I don’t have to worry about other things going on” she said. “In class, I am able to work on my own things and do things like that. It’s always nice.