KIPP NJ Parent: ‘Now Our Children Will See Themselves as Royalty’

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KIPP THRIVE Academy unveiled the third and final installation in their mural series during a celebratory and intimate ceremony. Joined by THRIVE students and staff, artist and school-parent Suliman Onque revealed his latest masterpiece titled “Pass the Crown,” the third and final installation of his complete series located on the second floor of the Central Ward school.

While THRIVE’s state-of-the-art educational campus offers two gyms, a playground and spacious, newly renovated classrooms, it’s these personalized touches that mean so much to the educators, students and their families. This particular mural was created to motivate and inspire students and educators as they pass through the hallways seeing themselves as royalty or as Onque described, “guardians of our community and this world.”

“Being a Newark-born artist and a part of this community, I feel the importance of spreading my art throughout the city so it leaves a lasting impact. ‘If you can imagine it I can create it, artistically’ is my motto,” said Onque. “THRIVE Academy helped to nurture my daughter when she attended the school, and this is my gift back to the school community.”

 

Over the course of several weeks Onque worked with students and staff at the school on the piece to capture the spirit of Newark and help instill community pride in the students. The mural includes a series of individuals, adults and children, passing crowns to each other. Mr. Onque teaches community art classes – drawing, painting, wearable art, comic book illustration, Photoshop, and more – to youth and adults and his work can be seen throughout the city of Newark.

“When we started this project in 2018, we could have no idea at what was to come. And there were times during the last year and a half that I wondered whether we’d ever have the chance to complete the mural,” said Modiegi Notoane-Eugene, THRIVE School Leader. “I am so grateful that we are back in our beautiful school building and hope is on the horizon. These children of Newark and THRIVE Academy are indeed kings and queens!”

KIPP THRIVE Academy is part of the KIPP New Jersey network of public schools and serves 573 students in grades K-4.

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