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Olympic High mural: a regional representation

Walking around the edges of the circular 8-foot mural is like taking a mini-tour of Washington.

There are rolling hills of farmland, complete with grapevines and apple trees, salmon-spawning creeks, a panoramic scene of downtown Seattle, a rain forest, a marina and snow-capped mountains.

“I hope people walk away with a sense of how complex and beautiful the Northwest is, and the variety of lifestyles people live based on the environment and jobs,” said Megan Kettwig, a senior at Olympic High School.

Olympic was one of 22 schools from around the nation chosen to paint the regional murals, which will be displayed March 21-26 at a national conference for art educators in Miami.

The Oly students painted eight scenes on a canvas designed to top a beach umbrella. All the scenes are from Washington, except a coastal panorama from Cannon Beach, Ore.

Junior and seniors from Lorinne Lee’s art classes invested more than 200 hours on the project. Benny Smith art supply provided the materials, which included pastels, paints and glitter pens.

A half-dozen students stood around a circular table March 6, blending pastels and adding final touches before the mural is shipped to Florida.

Other scenes included tulip fields, a ferocious rainstorm and a glittery rainbow. A yellow circle in the center decorated with American Indian symbols represents the sun, “although we don’t see it much in the Northwest,” said junior Ellie Ahrens.

At the beginning of the project, Lee sent students to the library to check out books with regional scenes.

“My favorite part is when the ideas we talked about started to come together, and we see how everything we’ve worked on works so well together,” Kettwig said.

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