The last 2 weeks, Seward High Art Students have been collaborating on a new mural which will fill the space above the school’s entrance. This mural was funded by both the School Yard Habitat Project (through the Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance) and the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area. This funding paid for all supplies, as well hiring Justine Pechuzal as a Mural Instructor to guide us through the process!
The funding meant that the subject of the mural would include Native plants as well as a human, or Cultural element. Since it is to be located at our schools entrance, it also had to include Seward High School in the design and have some school spirit as well!
Students collaborated on a design which would include all three of these concepts. We discussed various ideas and came to a general concensus on the final design:
The design includes mountains and ocean to show our habitat, various native plants that we all recognize, and human hands on either end using these plants for food or medicine for the cultural element.
Students drew native plant species individually and in guided practices. We picked the best drawing of each plant and used those in the mural design. Here is Justin Schutter’s drawing of a Fireweed which we used in the mural:
Using Photoshop, we scanned all the chosen drawings and arranged them in our final mural design. We decided to include all of the mountains in Seward, beginning with Mt. Alice, spanning over to Fox island in the middle, and wrapping all the way around to Benson on the right.
Drawings chosen were: Hands-Mary Ramirez, Fireweed-Justin Schutter, Oyster Mushrooms-Erin Doty, Bluebells-Hannalyn Ohlsen, Fern-Hannah Norris, Blueberries-Diana German, Spruce Pinecones-Alicia Morris & Basil Dougherty, Forget-me-nots-Brandon Moore, Watermelon Berries-Ryan Johnson, Pushki-Vitali Sturdy, Mare’s Tail- Anthony Gibson, Devil’s Club-Jasmine Sagner. Great job!
Over the weekend, Justine and I projected this design onto our huge mural panels and traced it with black painted in outlines so that students could begin painting on Monday. Jason Bickling and Shelly Walker were kind enough to let us use the middle school art room as our mural painting space over last week. Thanks!
Students painting the mural
Finished Mural Detail
Finished Mural (unmounted)
This has been a great collaborative process and all students in Art classes at Seward High truly contributed in some way, be it through ideas, drawing , or painting. Thanks so much to Justine for being our Guest Artist and guiding us along the way! Also thanks to Jennifer Headke of the Mural Society for donating paint and drop cloths and Lenny of Seward Auto Body and Paint for clear coating the mural with no labor charge!