By Karli Barnett

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Children at Florida City Elementary returned from winter break to a surprise that brightened their spirits and their school walls.

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The bottled water company LIFEWTR invited South Florida artists to paint four murals on the outside of the building over the course of four days.

They selected artists who used bright colors and bold designs.

“If it weren’t for my education and schooling, I don’t know how I would have even known about art or be introduced to it and found this passion that I have,” said artist Courtney Einhorn.

The wall she painted has an array of multi-colored squares.

“Building blocks are what we learn in school that help us to become who we are and get out into the world,” she explained, “So that’s the story behind it.”

“I come from a family of educators, so I am very passionate about students, schools, and education,” said fellow artist Jessy Nite.

She stands in front of her wall with pastel tones and various geometric patterns, saying her vision was a kaleidoscope.

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“You turn it. You see the jewels moving. It’s a craft I used to make all the time when I was the same age as a lot of these students,” she said.

LIFEWTR said, as a company, it’s committed to showcasing creativity. Their bottles feature art and they wanted to bring the same concept to the learning environment.

“Arts education is not just about turning every student into an artist,” said LIFEWTR Communications Director Alexis Porter.
“It’s about teaching them to think differently and open their minds to problem solve.”

This particular school was chosen as a kick-off to what they hope will be a year-long effort of beautifying elementary schools.

Porter said they learned the school recently had to have a major paint job. While it was great for maintenance, it made the environment feel a bit sterile.

Now, that is certainly not the case.

“The color is something that just inspires everybody. It makes them happy. It makes them smile,” said Einhorn.

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Through the project, the school’s art teacher also received a $1,000 dollar grant for art education.

Karli Barnett