St Albans school’s canteen mural offers a taste of modern art

ARTY students at a secondary school in St Albans transformed their canteen with splashes of colour.

Ten Year 8 and 9 students at Francis Bacon School took time out from lessons to paint the canteen, decorating one side of the hall with a mural inspired by American artist Keith Haring.

On the request of his head of department, art teacher and professional artist Vick Hazeldine, who has been at Francis Bacon for four months, designed the mural - a colourful ensemble of Haring-esque figures, filled in with paintings of fruit and vegetables - and chose the ten students best suited to the project.

Vick, who is also designing a mural for Sandringham Secondary School, said that he was very proud of his team: “It wasn’t about who were the best artists in the year groups, but about who makes the best team-players.

“The students have been working non-stop for four days and I’ve had to physically put the paint away at the end of each day to stop them!”

He added: “I am absolutely delighted with the end product and our canteen looks fantastic now.

“Fruit and vegetables from all around the world reflect the cultural diversity here at Francis Bacon and the colours really spruce the place up. I have been so impressed with the children’s enthusiasm, courage and confidence - those are skills which are very hard to teach.”

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Year 9 pupil Shaahida Khalique, 14, said that she loved the new-look canteen: “The people look exactly like the characters out of the Change for Life adverts on the TV and it makes fruit and vegetables look appetising.

“It’s quite big and our canteen looks much better now.”