by: SHERWOOD GAZETTE: BARBARA SHERMAN - As Sherwood School District employee Ian McNeely attaches one of 14 panels to a wall at Edy Ridge Elementary that form a gigantic mural, Maggie Englund, the artist in residence who worked with students to design and create it, holds it in place at the bottom.Artist Maggie Englund left a big mark on Edy Ridge Elementary after her stint as an artist in residence in February and March — a giant mural 12 feet high by 26 feet wide hanging on the movable wall in the cafeteria.

The mural, featuring a scene of mountains, grass, bedrock and water with a huge mosaic sun and (silver-lined) clouds, is made up of 14 individual panels that were measured to fit the sections of the wall so it can be opened and closed without destroying the artwork that all the students in the school had a hand in creating.

The big job of hanging the panels fell to Ian McNeely, who has worked for nine years in the Sherwood School District’s maintenance department. He found that 5/8-inch staples injected using a staple gun and an air-compressor were the best way to attach the panels to the wood wall sections that are covered with fabric.

According to McNeely, the first panel took 45 minutes to hang, but he picked up speed with the succeeding ones, and when Englund showed up April 22 after several panels were already on the wall, she helped him to make sure they hung straight.

Even without all the panels in place, McNeely commented, “This is really cool,” and Englund praised the hard work of all the students, who providing a lot of input into the design as well as the hard labor creating the finished product.

“I’m really proud of the kids,” she said. “It was a magical experience.”

Ironically, Englund, who was a teacher at Archer Glen Elementary before becoming an artist, taught McNeely’s son, Daniel, when he was in the second grade.

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