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Inspired Artist Serves up Mural

When it came time to create a mural for the cafeteria at Hindley that captured life at the elementary school, artist Sandy Garnett drew on his own childhood: He grew up in Darien and attended Hindley for sixth grade.

"They were looking for an artist that could create a mural that would symbolize a day at Hindley," said Garnett, who now works as an artist in South Norwalk. Garnett also created a mural of a Ferris wheel for the cafeteria. "We were looking for something to complement the larger mural. I hope that this one gives the kids good thoughts, maybe remind them of their favorite weekend."

Principal Rita Ferri said the image of children playing and learning together represents the essence of the school's strong sense of community. "That's so great, coming from a former student," she said. "You really captured the spirit of the school."

Ferri hosted a small dedication for the new cafeteria Wednesday morning and thanked everybody who worked on the project, including school employees, PTO members and the Board of Education as well as Garnett.

"This project is quite successful," Ferri said. "It's all due to the dedication and time everybody put in to make this room what it is today. It's beautiful."

The Hindley PTO put the money together the money for the project over the summer and got to work redoing the cafeteria. Renovations included new paint, new curtains for the stage and a large mural of the school. The new cafeteria will be a gathering place for Hindley's 575 students, the largest student population of all Darien's elementary schools.

PTO Co-Chair Jennifer Montanaro was happy with the results. "This is more than just a new coat of paint. It was a tremendous effort," she said. "Hindley is on the forefront for having real art."

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