Nickterns Brighten Up Stevenson Lunch Area With Huge Mural

By On April 17, 2014

Nickelodeon college interns spent three days painting an enormous mural at R. L. Stevenson Elementary school on April 7, 8 and 9. The local animation studio provided the materials and supplies to complete the giant painting.

Nickterns (from left to right) include: Jayro Giron (ASU), Richard Ramos (Woodbury), Kenichiro Chaffee (Academy of Art University – SF), Jessica Dedrick (SCAD), Stacy Lee (RISD), Roxanna Morelli (PCC.) Seated in front is Katie Heckey (San Jose State University) (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Nickterns (from left to right) include: Jayro Giron (ASU), Richard Ramos (Woodbury), Kenichiro Chaffee (Academy of Art University – SF), Jessica Dedrick (SCAD), Stacy Lee (RISD), Roxanna Morelli (PCC.) Seated in front is Katie Heckey (San Jose State University) (Photo by Ross A Benson)

All 15 Nickterns, as they are affectionately called at the local animation studio, spent approximately five hours per day painting the mural. Katie Heckey, from San Jose State University, headed up the project, spending hours in advance planning and prepping the design.

“The Nickterns were a pleasure to work with and we are thrilled with our awesome new mural,” commented Anne Askerneese, a Stevenson parent volunteer who coordinated the installation with Nickeldeon.

Nickterns at work.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nickterns at work.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Katie Heckey, as the lead artist on this project, was professional, highly organized and dedicated,” she added. “Katie put in well over 18 hours on our campus alone, not including the time she devoted to the preliminary designs and revisions.”

“The students at Stevenson are so excited to have this amazing mural in their lunch shelter!” continued Askerneese. “They enjoyed seeing the creative process unfold, as each day, from the beginning of the process, the mural took shape.”

“We love the fact that every child at Stevenson, including the special needs students, spend extended time in this space every single day.”

The complete Stevenson lunch shelter mural created by Nickterns. (Photo Courtesy of Anne Askerneese)

The complete Stevenson lunch shelter mural created by Nickterns. (Photo Courtesy of Anne Askerneese)

“Students’ lunch time conversations are really centered on the mural. The students talk about all the different environments and animals,” Askerneese explained. “They talk about hiking in the different habitats, and the pros and cons of the different climates.”

“This dynamic dialog is one example of the impact the mural is having on students. The smiles, excitement, and laughter are more evidence of the benefits of this creative endeavor.”

Heckey first sketched out the design with chalk and then used acrylic paint to adhere to the rough texture of the wall. All of the spring semester Nickterns joined in to complete the final art work.

Katie Heckey checks the progress of the mural painting. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Katie Heckey checks the progress of the mural painting. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Creating the mural was a wonderful experience,” said Heckey. “It was great seeing the expressions of the kids who walked by after school to sneak a peek. It’s like the concept of painting on a wall was incredible in itself.”

“Doing this mural has been the highlight of my internship experience with Nickelodeon,” Heckey added. “It was fun just working alongside my friends to improve a space for kids. I can’t wait to do another mural project.”

Every semester, Nickelodeon gets a new group of Nickterns and one of their obligations is to complete a community service project. Last fall, the Nickterns cleaned out and spruced up Disney Elementary’s school garden.

“We are thrilled to have our Nickterns contribute their talents to the community all while enhancing the school facilities in fun and vibrant way,” commented Veronica Esquivel, Manager of Talent Acquisitions at Nickelodeon.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Stevenson school is so grateful to Nickelodeon for taking on this project and transforming a previously bland space into a dynamic and refreshing one,” said Askerneese.

Two fourth-grade students interviewed Heckey for the May school newsletter.  Students and staff at the school also had a celebration for the Nickterns with pizza and a large thank you poster signed by students. Students gave out t-shirts with the Stevenson mascot, a pirate, to officially commemorate each Nicktern as an honorary Stevenson Pirate.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)