Grayson Students Find Hope And Inspiration Through Artistic Collaboration

World recognized artist King Saladeen joins Grayson students to capture their expressions after a year of living and learning through the global pandemic

March 16, 2021 1:02 PM EDT

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RADNOR, Pa., March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia contemporary artist King Saladeen is working with students from The Grayson School to design and create a 25-foot mural at the school. This mural captures a collective voice from the student's experiences over the last 12 months and will serve as an inspiration and recognition of the perseverance and tenacity of our community that has guided them through a most challenging year. "As a school, we have continued to keep a focus on opportunities that build and maintain community throughout the pandemic. I can think of nothing more relevant than to mark this year with a permanent installation of artistic expression that involves each and every student," shares Stacey Angelillo, Art Teacher.

Earlier this month, the students presented their concepts to King Saladeen. They decided on an idea depicting their school mascot, a gryphon, through the challenges of soaring high due to a broken wing. Their mascot, nicknamed "Gracie," rebounds more vital than ever before with a new mechanical, high-tech wing through creativity and resourcefulness. The mural will incorporate five canvas panels designed by the students to tell their story, adding a multi-dimensional aspect to the mural. Yesterday, King Saladeen spent the afternoon painting with the students who will finish the mural this month.

King Saladeen first connected with The Grayson School last spring and visited with students in September to welcome them back to school with backpacks and supplies. He shares, "I was most impressed with the fact that The Grayson School recognizes that giftedness and talent are not limited to a zip code or a socioeconomic factor. There is an obvious commitment, both at the school and in their outreach efforts, to close the equity gap in gifted education. As a personal mentor of mine made a huge mark on my life, It is very fulfilling for me to pass that forward as a role model to Grayson students. I am so excited to continue to collaborate with them as their ideas come to life in an amazing masterpiece."

"An authentic practice approach where students explore their ideas, collaborate, and fail in their process to discover and make connections in the complex world around them is a standard approach at The Grayson School. We often invite real-world practitioners and mentors into our classrooms to model the unlimited potential and endless possibilities that await them," says Melissa Bilash, Head of School. "We are so thankful to King Saladeen for helping us to mark the past year in a way that honored the work of our families, students, parents, and teachers. Today, we round the one-year mark of the day schools across the country hit the eject button to move to remote learning. We have turned to the arts across all grade levels as one way to heal the trauma from the abrupt interruption in our school's community life." See King Saladeen and Grayson students in the process of creating their mural:

The school has recently announced that King Saladeen will be honored at The Grayson School's GROW annual fundraising event on April 24, 2021. The event will take place online, and tickets are available at

See his latest projects and collaborations at Around town you can find King Saladeen's vibrant work on the walls of the Fitler Club, on a mural outside of Boyds, and at the Philadelphia Airport.

The Grayson School is an innovative, research-based learning institution guided by best practices in gifted education. Offering a Pre-K through grade 12 program with summer and enrichment classes open to the community, Grayson is the only "all gifted, all day" school of its kind within a 100-mile radius. The Grayson School provides high-ability learners with a setting where they can learn at a pace and level consistent with their abilities, collaborate with like-minded peers, and explore their unlimited potential, while also growing and thriving socially and emotionally.


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SOURCE The Grayson School

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