Students from Onsted, Sand Creek, Britton Deerfield, Adrian and Tecumseh High Schools participated in “Mural Alive”, an art project completed during downtown Adrian’s Artalicious Festival on September 19 and 20, 2015. Students, in conjunction with Adrian College students Gabrielle Taphouse and Sam Millett, worked with high school art teachers to design sections of a mural to be displayed for one year at the new Kiwanis Trailhead Park on West Maumee Street near Church Street in Adrian.
Pi Benio, retired Adrian College art professor and Vice President of the Lenawee Council for the Visual Arts, suggested the idea, said Millett, an Art Education student. He and Taphouse were quick to jump on board. “We thought it was a really cool idea. Definitely something where I could go to other schools and present the project,” said Millett, stating his desire to have experience mentoring younger students.
Taphouse, a Fine Arts major, enjoyed the teaching aspect. “I paint, but helping other people is a different thing,” she said.” I got to pass on my knowledge to people who have never done this before, and I got to teach them new things.”
Matilda Wrangdahl, a Swedish exchange student studying at Adrian High School, enjoyed the concept of her team’s design. “It’s inspired by artists and paintings, and also it represents the school by using the maple leaves,” she said. The Adrian High School section includes a nod to Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.
Christine Obeid, art teacher at Tecumseh High School, helped her students design their mural piece. “They decided to do the cave painting of Lascaux in France, which is the oldest art known. We had the people from Adrian College who came to talk to the students and told them the mural was supposed to reference art history, so our students said, ‘Let’s go all the way back.’”
To Reilly Cardella, a senior at Tecumseh High School, sharing art has always been an important part of her life. “I’ve grown up my whole life around art. Both my parents are artistic and they passed it on – and it’s something I want to pass on.”
Sponsors for this project were Stevenson’s Lumber and Lenawee Community Foundation Youth Council, who generously donated funds and supplies to make the mural a reality.
Article by Jackie Koch