Independence Primary School Has Surprise Guest to View Fourth Grade's Cleveland Browns Mural: Myles Garrett
A moment of a lifetime happened on Thursday, April 29 as Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett surprised the students and staff at Independence Primary School. He was so impressed with the fourth-graders’ mural they recently created for their upcoming art show, that he wanted to see it first-hand and congratulate the young artists.
With the help of New 5 Cleveland, Garrett’s visit included time for some inquisitive questions from the fourth graders. Garrett, who also is fully vaccinated, wrapped up his time at the school with a walk around the building with all students having an opportunity to say hello (with lots of barking sounds and chants of “Here We Go Brownies” in the hallways). It was a Cleveland Browns Spirit Day at the school so students and staff just so happened to be wearing their favorite orange and brown spirit gear with many "95" jerseys lining the halls. Garrett also signed his name above his picture on the mural. An autographed helmet will be raffled off at the Art Show on Thursday, May 13 with proceeds going to the school’s art program. It will take place on the baseball fields at Elmwood Park, 6363 Selig Drive, in Independence. The rain date is May 14.
“Last year, we were two days away from having our annual art show before being shut down and starting virtual learning,” said Gruber. “Lots of hard work was put into creating art all year to have a successful show, something our students look forward to each year. At the start of the 2020 school year, I made it a goal to have the art show back for our students, in a safe environment for all to enjoy. On May 13 that goal will happen with the outdoor art show!”
The show will feature more than 300 pieces of artwork that have been created by the primary school students throughout this school year. Taking part in a three-week art class project, fourth graders showed off their Cleveland Browns’ spirit by creating an 18x10 ft. mural of larger-than-life Browns’ players Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett, as well as Coach Stefanski. Adobe Photoshop helped create the photo by breaking it down into three colors of red, yellow and black and created a grid system just like the technique used by the famous artist Chuck Close. Each student figured out which of the three colors to paint on the rectangle to coincide with the larger image of the players. Garrett, touched after seeing the story that aired on News 5 Cleveland on the mural, reached out to the television station to help arrange the surprise visit.
These murals have become a tradition at the primary school. Over the past, the students have created murals for the City of Independence bicentennial, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavs, and even of their favorite teachers, including a mural in remembrance of Joan Sidor, the school’s beloved long-time music teacher. “I love that students have to work as a team to create a piece of art,” said Gruber. “It is much different than most projects we do during the year. It is always fun hearing how excited they are to do this project, and even better to see them light up when they first get to see it put together. Students have been asking for years to do the Cleveland Browns, with Cleveland hosting the draft, and the season we had last year, it was finally time to show our pride for the upcoming season! Go Browns!”
Principal TJ Ebert thanked Garrett for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop by the school and meet these fourth-grade artists, especially on the opening of the NFL Draft in downtown Cleveland. “This year has been so challenging for our students and staff due to COVID-19. We have been in school for most of the year, but we have had to change the way we instruct because of Covid protocols. Now, this won’t be a year remembered as a “COVID” year but the year that Cleveland Browns’ player Myles Garrett came to meet them. For him to take time to provide this memory for our students, is something I will forever be thankful for...this is something our students will never forget!