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Mural Art Fun!

At work, from left, Josh Peterson, Ralph Cahoon, Michaela Dunlap, Katie Biggins and Matt Kyle.

Steven Pittman seems to be having fun with his bears.

Working with art instructor, Feather Sherman, left, are Erin Meissner and JC Clark.

Foundation Grant Enables Students, Volunteers, and Professionals
to Complete Seeley Lake Elementary Art Mural Project

by Kathy Davis
Photos by Rhonda MalechaSeeley Swan Pathfinder
July 16, 1998

Take a detour by the Seeley Lake Elementary School and see the beautiful art mural that the students created. The theme is "The Natural Beauty of our Home, Seeley Swan Valley." The mural depicts animals, birds, fish, insects, trees, flowers, and landscapes on sixty-nine separate panels installed at foundation level along the front of the school that visually enhances the Cliff Nelson memorial. Landscaping will be completed soon.

The funding for the project was provided by the Claiborne/Ortenberg Foundation. The grant from the Foundation allowed the school to offer a stipend to local artisans who worked with the 210 students involved in the school-wide project. The grant also allowed for supplies. The program was coordinated by Dan White, Kathy Davis, and Jeanne Moon.


Assessing the murals are, from left, R. J. Woods, Megan Rose and Jared Newell.


At work, from left, Ramsy Hoehn, Chase Olsen, and Shane Gehrke.

Volunteer hours were essential for the success of this project. Of the 564 hours turned in by the project leaders and their assistants, 365 of those hours were donated. Some of the major contributors were Jeanne Moon, Rick and Feather Sherman, Paul and Cindy Torok, Bev Evans, and Karen and Howard Montgomery.

The art classes, led by Rick and Feather Sherman, were totally interactive with lots of student-initiated discussions and problem solving activities. They discussed the habitats and ecosystems common to our area. They discussed depth perception, line, color, and shapes. As some students realized their artistic and peer acceptance, teachers could see significant improvement in attitudes and self-concept enhancement. These are some of the students' comments:

"Come look at J.C.'s picture! Doesn't it look real?"

"I didn't know I could draw this good! (BIG smile)!!"

"Come see mine! Come see mine, Mrs. Evans!"

"Look at David's. His is the best."

"May we practice this when we get back to class?"

"That's mine, see mine?"

"I helped draw that one!"

"See that fish? Well, that's MY fish!"

"I'm going to be an artist when I grow up."

"Awesome, man, totally awesome."

The public is invited to stop by and, "See what all the fuss is about..."

Art Instructor, Rich Sherman, center, works with Heather Hals, left, and Jordan Koppen, right.

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