NPHS students spruce up Fatima with art

NPHS students spruce up Fatima with art

North Providence High School students Kyle Calandra, Liam Thompson and Nicolette Russell painted this lighthouse mural for Our Lady of Fatima Hospital.

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The talent of three North Providence High School students is displayed on two birch wood panels, where they painted life-like murals for Our Lady of Fatima Hospital.

Patricia Lucciola, unified arts department chair, said her students typically paint a different mural each year for an organization.

She said they have created works of art for Hopkins Manor, the Salvatore Mancini Resource and Activity Center, the Department of Public Works and the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

"We've painted 12 smaller paintings for Fatima Hospital before and we did a huge Florida beach scene on panels that is down in their cafeteria," she said. "The organization typically chooses the theme and we can advise them but they wanted two Rhode Island beach scenes."

Senior Kyle Calandra, senior Liam Thompson and junior Nicolette Russell began the project in January and finished it before the school's art show in May.

Calandra, who is attending the Massachusetts College of Art and Design next year, said he was 4 years old when he first started drawing "and I just carried that with me to high school."

Russell said she started off drawing at a young age also, but just got into painting this past year when she enrolled in art class.

Although the students love art, Lucciola said the project was part of their graduation requirement.

She said each student must complete 15 hours of community service before they are allowed to graduate.

"They spent way more than 15 hours to paint this though, they probably spent about 60," she said.

The students said they utilized their lunchtime, down time and after school hours to ensure the painting was ready for May.

Calandra, who was responsible for painting the water portion of the mural, said a drawing was sketched out on the panel before the students blocked off the white areas with color.

Thompson said he was responsible for painting the sky, which he started with just a blue line.

"Then I added a bright red color on the sky, then as I go I add more colors and texture," he said.

Sheri Lough, faculty fieldwork educator in the occupational therapy department at the New England Institute of Technology, works in the partial hospital program at Fatima Hospital and visited the students before picking up the murals.

"This is amazing to see these paintings. I wasn't expecting it to be almost 3D. It truly is a masterpiece and I can't thank you enough," she told the students.

Lough said the partial hospital program provides counseling and therapeutic services to patients with a variety of mental illnesses.

She said each day occupational therapy personnel, psychiatrists and social workers meet with groups of patients.

"We've been trying to enhance the space where they meet to have that inspiration and that therapeutic benefit," she said. "A lot of people are dealing with some heavy issues so it's great to have that space where people can get joy by looking at the art."

Because May was mental health awareness month, Lough said it was truly fitting that the murals were completed during that time.

Young artists stand near the mural they painted for Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. From left are Patricia Lucciola, unified arts department chair, Nicolette Russell, Kyle Calandra and Liam Thompson. (Valley Breeze photos by Jessica Boisclair)