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Shoreham-Wading River art students' mural destined for Sandy Hook school

AP art students at Shoreham-Wading River High School

AP art students at Shoreham-Wading River High School spent about four months painting a mural to honor victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy that occurred on Dec. 14 in Newtown CT. They hope to deliver it in person to the school's PTA before June. (May 9, 2013) Credit: Brittany Wait

Small and large butterflies float down a path leading to an open field at sunset in a painting meant to instill hope in the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

On the mural local students created, 20 small butterflies represent the children lost, and six larger butterflies represent the adults.

Art students from Shoreham-Wading River High School spent four months painting a mural, with the words “Hope, Love, Dream” at the bottom, to provide comfort to students affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14.

Senior Emma Stoll was among the eight advanced placement studio art students to use acrylic paints to create the inspired piece.

“We wanted the pathway leading to a beautiful sunset to act as a symbol of hope,” said Stoll, 18, of Wading River.

Their art teacher Shannon Lustig said it was a long process, but well worth it. Now that the mural is finished, Lustig said she is working out details on how to donate it to the Sandy Hook School Parent-Teacher Association, whether by mail or in person.

“These kids worked two hours after school and on Sundays for months,” said Lustig, 33, of Coram. “I’m really proud of them and I’m happy we could create something so positive out of something so negative.”

Jennifer Taylor, vice president of the Sandy Hook School PTA, doesn’t yet have a plan of where to hang the mural, but is extremely grateful for the meaningful gift to students.

“We are incredibly thankful and appreciative of the support and thoughtfulness of communities like Shoreham and others who have reached out to us with such displays of kindness,” Taylor said.

Senior Breslynn Naso said each art student involved created at least one butterfly to make them all unique.

“It’s so uplifting to see what this has turned into,” said Naso, 17, of Shoreham. “We hope kids from Sandy Hook Elementary look at the painting hanging at their new school and feel at peace.”

Senior Breanna Baichan had never created a painted mural before this.

“I’m glad our artwork can do some healing,” said Baichan, 17, of Shoreham. “We want our message ‘to have hope, love always and dream forever’ to reach these kids.”

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