Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School will hold a community celebration for the official unveiling of a special art project Friday morning at 8:30 at the school, 1900 Rainier Circle.

Visitors will be able to view the 12-foot high mosaic pillars created by Petaluma artist Sueann Bettison Sher with the help of Sonoma Mountain students and community members.

The project was three years in the making, from the time school art specialist Jacki Yurth reached out to Sher to Friday’s unveiling.

Sonoma Mountain, which has a school focus on art, has a tradition of special projects. Past projects have ranged from ball wall art to the creation of a Buddy Bench.

The theme for the mosaic, “Reach for the Stars,” came from the students themselves, who three years ago created a star out of clay and wrote a special word or message on the back. Sher took that idea and tied it in with flowers with the idea that we reach for the stars, while remembering the ground at our feet.

Also on the mosaics are outlines of children based on student models.

Most of the work was done in Sher’s studio, although some was created at her kitchen table. The students helped by making some of the flowers and bugs.

When it finally came time to put the pieces together on the columns, the artist found a lot of encouragement and help from both the school and surrounding community.

“A number of friends came by to help and some even brought us lunch,” Sher recalls.

“It took much longer than I expected, but it was really a great project. A lot of people encouraged me and offered support. Michele (Sonoma Mountain Principal Michele Gochberg) was an absolute delight to work win.”

“Our students, parents, staff and community cannot help to stop and view this gorgeous art,” Gochberg said. “The finished products are breathtaking, and these masterpieces will be cherished by many generations of Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School and Petaluma families.”