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Mural inspired by THE STRING PROJECT symbolizes connection

Inspired by a project that has connected people all over the globe by a string, every fifth and sixth grader at Nickels Intermediate School added paint, paper or a message to a mural to hang in the school office.

In teacher Molly Marshall’s art class, students began working on the collage-style mural after meeting 2018 Art Prize winners Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez, who recently visited during a stop along their world tour exhibition to continue THE STRING PROJECT.

“THE STRING PROJECT” began in January 2018 and features photographs from Africa, Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. All the people photographed hold the same, simple string,” symbolizing an invisible connection.

Sixth graders hold the string, symbolizing that everyone is invisibly connected (Courtesy photo, Heather Hontz)

Students participated in a 45-minute assembly, learning about the couple’s adventures in 20 different countries. The assembly was funded by the Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters.

Marshall and students were then inspired to create their own connective, collaborative piece with lots of paint and scrap paper connected in a winding spiral. Sixth grader Holly Lawrence added a message that says, “Kindness Over Everything.” 

“Everyone in the school is coming together to make this for the office. This project is inspiring people to connect,” she said.

Added sixth grader Casey Dorman: “We are all connected. It doesn’t matter your race, what you look like or anything.”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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