Students paint mural on front wall of their Columbus city school

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Students at Indianola Informal K-8 School are painting a mural on the front of their school that will be featured for years to come.

"I always encourage the young people to turn to art rather than to fighting or any negativity in their life. It's a very positive force," said Queen Brooks, a Columbus artist and artist in residence at Indianola Informal.

Brooks is working alongside April Sunami, who is also an artist, to guide students in designing and painting the mural, which will be displayed around the school's front doors.

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"The design originated with us talking to the kids about what this school meant to them," Brooks explained. "Since I work in symbols, we showed the kids symbols. We talked to them about words that they could use and the symbols that would describe those words."

Brooks says the students used words like happiness, hope, education, knowledge and wisdom to describe their affection for Indianola Informal.

The artists chose to incorporate a rainbow in their design for the mural.

"The rainbow is really significant," said Sunami. "Indianola's first mascot was the rainbow and it changed later to the Knights."

Brooks and Sunami say they are pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to a community artwork that will be on display for years to come.

"I’m actually a parent here," said Sunami. "I have two children who go here. So, I’m also personally invested. I get to come, bring my kids here and see this mural. So, it’s really extra special."

The mural will be officially unveiled on May 20.