WARDSBORO, Vt. — A school-wide community project saw students learning about painting and public art — and hiking to do so.

Local artist Chichi Williams worked with the students on the murals back in September. She drew chickens and roosters then students painted them.

“We had to take our time,” said Lizzy, one of the students.

The murals went up on the barn at the Wardsboro Public Library and town park. Jazmyn, a student, said they painted old chicken pens for the project. Elsie, another student, said separate groups worked on the project for 35 minutes each.

Principal Tammy Bates told the Reformer that lots of different colors were used.

“It took the whole school day,” she said.

According to a press release, “a generous benefactor” of the library provided the funding for painting murals.

For Jackson, a student, meeting Williams was his favorite part.

“It was really cool,” he said, noting her fame.

According to the press release, Williams was born and raised in Vermont. She attended the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France, undergraduate programs through the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts from Montana State University. She first started out by secretly drawing and painting on the walls of her home. She later was a professional alpine skier but retired at the age of 24.

Williams’ Colombian roots inspired “her use of a vibrant colorful palette while her lifelong influences of drag queens, urban street art, textile design, the golden age of animation and the fashion industry are present throughout her work,” the press release stated. “An advocate of art education for children, (Williams) regularly involves communities to be part of her murals to actively inspire youth through creativity.”

Williams enjoys spreading her own love of art and painting to kids.

“Working with the children is my favorite part of what I do,” she said.

Students had their T-shirts autographed by Williams. That was Jazmyn’s favorite part. Other students enjoyed hiking from the school, up the hill to the library. Maddy had fun showing her grandmother the artwork while Matthew liked sharing it with his mother.

“My favorite part was we got Popsicles,” said Kayli.

“My favorite part was reading the jokes on the Popsicle,” added Declan.

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For more information: The Brattleboro Reformer, www.reformer.com