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Windows to a new world

July 26, 2011

Before this summer, Snow Creek Elementary School’s library had blank, white walls.

Thanks to five Hickory High School (HHS) girls and Snow Creek media coordinator, Ellen Sigmon, windows have opened up in the library, literally.

“Since there aren’t windows, I thought it would be neat to have murals fill the blank space in the library,” Sigmon said. “I was talking to Caroline (Sigmon’s daughter) about it and she wanted to do one.”

Caroline killed two birds with one stone. By helping her mother with the project, she was also able to count the idea as a project for her International Baccalaureate (IB) visual art course offered at HHS.

After becoming part of the project, Caroline asked for help from four friends, three of which are enrolled in the IB course.

From there, the idea snowballed, Sigmon said.

The IB course requires summer assignments, which includes two projects and a 24-page journal. The murals will count as one project unless the teacher decides they are large enough to count as two.

Since in June, each girl has been painting a window depicting a different genre: history, mystery, fantasy, adventure and science fiction.

Katie Mathewson’s mural takes a journey around the world with a focus on historical monuments, such as a Mayan temple, Viking ship, Greek columns, Great Wall of China and Egyptian pyramids.

“I finished with world history second semester last year and had a lot of (historical) background,” Mathewson said.

Before starting on her mural, Mathewson created three sketches on graph paper.

“I chose this one (mural) because I thought it had more variety and organized space (than the other sketches),” Mathewson said.

This art project isn’t Mathewson’s first rodeo, though.

“I have been taking art classes since I can remember,” Mathewson said. “I like to work with acrylic paint.”

With a silhouette of a detective, magnifying glass, fingerprint, a key, mysterious fist and red handprints — the genre of Sophia Nassar’s mural is no mystery.

Though Nassar isn’t an avid mystery novel reader, she enjoys mystery films.

“Art is just a hobby,” Nassar said. “I want to do something with movies or fashion — design clothes for characters in movies.”

Nassar especially enjoys working with collages.

“I like cutting out pictures from magazines and glue them onto paper or cardboard,” Nassar said.

Brenna Moore’s mural, a spin-off of Jack and the Beanstalk, sums up the fantasy genre: mushrooms, a princess, clouds and a castle in the sky.

“I figured this genre would be the most fun,” Brenna Moore said. “It gives a lot to work with and offers (the chance) to connect with little kids.”

Moore prefers to sketch and is currently working on getting more involved in painting with oils. But she too has been involved with art longer than she can remember.

“I really don’t remember not having an art class,” Moore said.

While Moore enjoys painting, she doesn’t foresee a career as an artist.

“I want to do this as a hobby,” Moore said. “I don’t know if I’m into the starving artist type of deal.”

Like any classic adventure story, the hero should fight through a thicket of trees, jump down a raging waterfall and swing to safety on a vine. Caroline’s mural took her idea of adventure and created a scene with a waterfall, trees, a cave and vine.

“I automatically thought jungle,” Caroline said. “I started with the idea of trees and a cave and add to the idea as I go along.”

Adventure wasn’t Caroline’s first choice, though.

“I was between fantasy and adventure,” Carolina said. “But I let everyone else go first and choose.”

Throughout her school career, Caroline has been involved in art classes.

“I like painting with acrylic for my bigger paintings and watercolor with sharpie for my other paintings,” Carolina said.

The final mural on the library’s wall is out of this world.

Mikaela Palma splattered different colors of paint onto her black space background and added an alien, Earth and her own made up planet.

“I don’t like science fiction book or movies, but I like to paint aliens, planets and astronauts,” Palma said.

Palma is not enrolled in the IB course, but is more than happy to paint a mural.

“I think (painting is) fun,” Palma said. “I have been painting with art classes for three years and painting on my own probably since middle school. I like watercolor and collages.”

As well as painting space, Palma enjoys painting nature.

The girls hope to have their murals finished by this Thursday, but if not then, they complete them before Snow Creek starts school.

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