Wall-painting at Galion Primary School meant to inspire students
GALION — Galion Primary School students have a new addition to the building’s gymnasium thanks to the efforts of their physical education teacher and a local artist and former Galion student.
Matt Tyrrell, phys-ed instructor at the elementary school, wanted to make visual changes to the gym based on visits he and his colleagues have made while implementing The Leader in Me program at the Primary School.
“When we were implementing Leader In Me, a large part of the process involved the physical appearance in the building,” Tyrrell said. “Many schools we visited had murals, and, with the way our schools are designed, the painted concrete block in the gym seemed like the best place.”
When Tyrrell decided to take on the project, he sought the help of Galion alumni, and close friend Dustin Foust. Together, they developed a final mock-up of the mural with the goal of motivating the children.
“After visiting with Dustin, he mentioned wanting to get more involved in the community and giving back and I asked him about doing the mural,” Tyrrell said. “ I also knew that he helped paint the mural in downtown Bucyrus.”
The new mural adorns the north wall in the primary school gym.
“We are very fortunate to have a community member as talented as Dustin Foust donate so much of his time and talent to this project, ” said Galion Superintendent Jim Grubbs. “It is a large investment in time, and I sincerely appreciate the work Dustin and Mr. Tyrrell have done over the summer to make this mural a reality.”
The idea behind the mural, according to Tyrrell, is to reinforce the leadership theme that primary school encourage students to embrace.
“It will serve as a source of pride,” Tyrrell said. “It will show that Galion graduates have built successful careers in visual arts, which might inspire young students to foll0w their talents and interests.”
The mural, which highlights the phrase “Lead By Example,” shows several animated tigers doing push-ups, lifting weights and juggling several varieties of fruits. The tigers represent the children doing different activities to stay mentally and physically healthy.
“The large tiger in the center is a representation of the teachers leading the students,” Foust said. “It has been a privilege giving back to the community that helped make me who I am and to motivate the future generations of Galion.”
Foust’s career has included developing characters for games and designing animations for Disney, among other things. The mural drawing took Foust approximately six hours to develop.
“Dustin is a super-talented artist and cartoonist,” Tyrrell said. “I knew he could create a design that would be fun, exciting and inspiring for our students.”