Sietske Johnson is no longer the art teacher at St. Luke School, but she has left behind something for which she will long be remembered.
It is an unusual piece of artwork made to inspire many for years to come.
In the parking lot at the intersection of Second Avenue and 11th Street, directly behind the middle school, more than 30 parking spaces have been decorated by students. Each has been painted with a colorful illustration along with a verse of scripture.
Head of School Bill Shelnutt said each St. Luke class chose what it would create, something meaningful to that class.
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“Each is unique,” he said.
His parking spot has the scripture John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The students first did an outline in chalk then painted the spots.
“The project took a week in April and it was a lot of fun,” he said.
St. Luke is a private school with approximately 550 students in grades K-8. Johnson began working there in 2003.
“She had to return home to take care of family in the Netherlands and we hated to see her leave,” he said.
Shelnutt said every year she would have students design a billboard for downtown but Johnson wanted to do something special this year.
“She wanted to cover the parking lot with God’s holy word,” Shelnutt said.
He said members of St. Luke United Methodist Church had no problem with the plan.
“Since the children were doing the artwork, they felt good about it,” Shelnutt said.
Parents helped the younger students.
Shelnutt said he liked seeing the students working together.
It was also another chance to get outside and “feel the energy” of what is happening downtown.
Shelnutt said the school likes to take students on field trips to nearby places such as the Springer Opera House and the Chattahoochee RiverWalk.
“This all came together quickly,” Shelnutt said of the project. “It is something enduring and is some pretty amazing artwork.”