A splash of art, a gift for youth

Monday, November 26, 2001

Teens answer the colorful wishes of Storm Lake children in unique mural.

A new piece of art is taking on life in a second-floor hallway at South Elementary. Spanning one side of an east-west corridor by the library, the high school art club is creating a gift for their younger, fellow students.

Elementary Principal Ed Rude first asked the high schoolers if they were interested in painting a mural.

Nate Inglis-Steinfeld spearheaded the operation. He is president of the art club which numbers about 30 members.

"Nate was excited to be able to head up this project," said art instructor Anita Coon.

The giant mural features different three scenes - the jungle, outer space and a seascape. Those were the top subjects selected by students at South in a survey.

Going south along the upstairs hallway, you can follow the three stripes of orange, green and purple. As they turn around the corner, the stripes widen and flow into the first panel of the mural - the jungle scene.

"The primary colors bleed into our galaxy," Coon said.

The design of the mural was first sketched out by high schooler Phanat Vilayseuk. Art club students started on the mural Tuesday of last week, and plan on up to nine more sessions to complete it.

"Not every student in Art Club has taken an art class, but any one who would like to participate on the mural can," Coon said.

Inglis-Steinfeld said art club students have been hoping to paint a mural for quite some time.

"This is really nice, we've gotten a lot done," he said this week. "There's a lot of paint on the wall and we got it up here pretty quick. It doesn't look that bad."

Mural painting is not necessarily old hat to the students, but many have have been given the opportunity over the years.

"Students have painted lots of these in the past at the high school, but many of them have been covered over," said Ron Netten, high school art teacher.

Outside of the high school, North School is the only other one with an art club mural in it, which was painted three years ago.

Painting a mural can be a challenge, but it also becomes more than any single artist, Netten said.

"It evolves and takes its own identify," he said. "We kind of have to sit back and ask what it needs, where it needs to go, and what we need to get done tonight."

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