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Local muralist donates services to Trip Elementary

Special Photo
Michelle Black paints a scene in a mural she volunteered to construct in Trip Elementary School's media center. The mural is designed around the Dewey Decimal system, and the scene pictured here depicts the classification of books about the arts.

Special Photo Michelle Black paints a scene in a mural she volunteered to construct in Trip Elementary School's media center. The mural is designed around the Dewey Decimal system, and the scene pictured here depicts the classification of books about the arts.

GRAYSON -- For two years, Nicole Dineen, the media specialist at Trip Elementary School, had been saving money from book fair sales to pay for someone to paint a mural in the media center.

Now she'll get to spend the money on a couch or other comfy seating, as a local resident volunteered to paint the mural at the new school.

Michelle Black, whose son recently completed fifth grade at Trip Elementary, said she volunteered to paint the mural after she saw a newsletter asking for parents to volunteer in the media center. Since she couldn't volunteer her time because of her busy work schedule, Black decided to volunteer her services as a muralist.

"It makes me feel good to be able to donate the mural," said Black, a Duluth High School graduate who has painted more than 300 murals in two years.

The mural spans the entire perimeter of the media center. Titled "A Trip through the Genres," the mural's design is based on the Dewey Decimal System. Above the different classes of books, Black is painting a related scene.

Each scene contains a Grayson ram and a character holding or reading a book.

Black is also turning Dineen's office into a clubhouse by painting the exterior walls of the media specialist's office.

"It's my dream come true," Dineen said of the mural. "It will truly make (the media center) the heart of the school ... (and) I think the media center should be the focus of the school, where people come to read and research."

Dineen is currently soliciting suggestions for names for the media center and the clubhouse. To submit a suggestion, e-mail nicole_dineen@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

To view pictures of the mural in progress, visit Black's Web site at www.acoloraffair.com.