Retiree transforms school into art gallery

By Kate Hassett

Retiree transforms school into art gallery
92-year-old caretaker has spent the past 25 years transforming his school into one giant mural.

Former art teacher Valery Khramov, works as a janitor at School No. 168 in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. When he is not busy working, the art enthusiast spends his free time creating amazing scenes of grandeur, on the walls of his beloved school.

His work, encompassing three levels, is themed, separated to reflect different aspects of schooling life – the seasons, geography, nature, architecture and even fairy tales.

Before school went back this year, Khramov spent 10 nights putting the final touches on his masterpieces, ensuring they would be ready for the children on their first day of school.

Headmistress Tatyana Vyatkina shares Khramov’s passion, saying: “People who come to visit us are always struck by the paintings. At the same time, it helps to conceal some of the school’s rougher edges.”

Khramov’s murals were started 25 years ago, but most of the work was completed over the past two years.

“I painted all these things in order to foster in the children a sense of what’s beautiful.”

While one day he admits there won’t be anyone to restore his works, he hopes that his scenes have inspired others to dream big and live creatively.


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