PS 127 Fifth-Graders Celebrate Graduation By Painting Mural

Artist helps McKinley kids create wall-to-wall extravaganza for the eyes

The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about leaving your mark!

Graduating fifth graders ended their tenure at PS 127 in Dyker Heights by painting an elaborate mural inside their school — with some help from parents and Brooklyn-based artist Magdelena Marcenaro.

The idea for the art piece came from Amanda Daglish, a mother to a fourth grader and part of the Enrichment Committee — a group of parents dedicated to funding humanities education at the school.

“We thought this might be a way to get the kids to engage with art, and talking about it with teachers, we thought it would be an activity for the fifth grade to do,” said Daglish.

Daglish researched Brooklyn muralists to find someone who could help inspire the kids’ creativity and color palette. She struck upon Marcenaro’s work, and reached out to the Argentinian-born artist. Marcenaro said she was thrilled at the opportunity to help kids connect with their inner imagery and imagination

“So many children have no contact with art or the opportunity to create it. People have a fear that, ‘oh, I can’t draw, or I can’t paint,’ ” said Marcenaro. “But art isn’t a specific skill. It’s about having a vision, a concept.”

Marcenaro met with the students in May, and helped them come up with a design that incorporated the school building and the Verrazano Bridge. She also helped them decide on the right materials — photos cut from newspapers and magazines. The kids and their parents spent the next month clipping away wildly and — with Marcenaro’s help — on June 17 they pasted the pieces to the wall and painted over them.

PS 127 leaders said they thought the result was a picture-perfect send-off for the middle school-bound children, most of whom grew up in the school.

“Finding a way for them to create a lasting legacy that reflects their community and cultures has been an amazing opportunity,” says Principal Agatha Alicandro. “I hope that when they think back to their final weeks as fifth graders, they will be proud of what they have achieved with their mural.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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