Pine Island artist Mel Meo recently finished two murals for the youngsters to enjoy once they return to Skyline Elementary School and Pine Island Elementary School in August.
Meo said in 2004, Skyline Elementary School Principal Chuck Vilardi, who was the principal at Pine Island Elementary School at the time, hired her to do a mural. She said he hired her again to paint a nautical themed mural at Skyline Elementary, which was completed in May.
The mural, which can be seen from the road, is 30 feet high by 25 feet wide. The outdoor mural contains a beach theme with the Sanibel lighthouse in the background.
One of the murals artist Mel Meo has painted at Pine Island Elementary School.
"I wanted the Sanibel lighthouse because a lot of kids are familiar with it," Meo said. "Something that they could relate to."
The scene also includes kids building sandcastles in the sand, as well as "building leaders," written in the sand.
"The kids would come out with their teachers and watch as it would progress," Meo said of the three days it took to complete the mural.
Another mural at Pine Island Elementary School was also recently completed inside of the media center due to the request of Principal Rob Mazzoli and librarian Elana Newman.
Meo said she painted the inside wall of the library, so she could carry on the underwater theme that was depicted in her 2004 mural. The original mural, which was painted on the front of a planter, portrays the theme of local wildlife - turtles, dolphins, manatees and spoonbills.
Since the school is an old concrete block building, big panels were made out of masonite, as well as frames.
"It actually looks like it is on the wall," she said of the panels, which can be moved.
The largest panel is 8 feet by 2 feet.
"It fills up a large part of the wall," Meo said, adding that it will be fun to see the students 'expressions once they return to school.
A mural, which is still a work in progress, is also being painted at a home in Matlacha. Meo said the homeowner wanted a garden that she did not have to maintain, so she is painting local plants and butterflies on the exterior wall of the home.