It’s such a joy to see the pride and sense of accomplishment the kids that painted the mural have with it. You can see by the way they touch it, that the connection runs deep, and the memories of the experience will last a lifetime.
We’ve built some relationships that will continue beyond this project, and are looking forward to following some of the student’s artistic endeavors in the years to come.
We were also surprised and honored by G.A.T.E. Site Liaison, Heather Possehl, when she invited us to a Morongo Unified School District Board meeting, and presented us with a beautiful plaque of appreciation! Thank you Heather!
“Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day Time-Lapse Video
What happens when you give 20+ elementary school students paint, brushes, and ask them to paint a 37 foot mural in one day? We were excited to get out our cameras and record a Mural-In-A-Day time-lapse video. Watch and see!
This 37′ X 8′ mural was designed and painted by the Onaga Elementary School G.A.T.E. Students and Larger Than Life Murals (Linda Shrader and Echo Westover).
“The truth, and I believe the key to our success, is that we had faith in the students. We knew with some guidance, they could do this!”
So we invested a little of our time, shared some information, and encouraged the students to give their very best in all aspects of the project.
Respect all persons and property (including NO paint spills).
Take pride in your work and give your very best painting effort.
And of course, enjoy!
And they did.
And even though we didn’t completely finish in one day, we considered this a huge success. We are very pleased with what we did accomplish and the kids were safe, and very neat about their work.
As the day progressed, some parents, teachers, even the principal couldn’t resist the urge to grab a brush and join in.
Here are some wonderful photos taken by the Office Tech, more fondly known as the ‘Heartbeat Of The School’, Barb Parsons.
Echo Westover (middle) advises G.A.T.E. Students painting “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day, Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley, CA Photo by BJ Parsons
Tommie touching up the blue sky. Mrs. Possehl works on the legend KEY. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Chelsea West (left) discusses the desert tortoise with Cole. Photo by BJ Parsons
Linda Shrader (center) uses a straight-edge to correct the box around the coyote for the student artist. Onaga G.A.T.E. Class painting “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day. Photo by BJ Parsons.
A parent volunteer demonstrates a technique to shade the center of the flower. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Mary, (top center) works on the blue sky. Photo by BJ Parsons.
Tommie concentrates on neatly painting the lettering. Photo by BJ Parsons.
From design to completion, this mural project is a true collaboration. The students choose the plants and animals to be included in the mural through class voting. We then selected the images using either our own photographs, paying for licenses to use a stock photos, or obtained written permission from the copyright owner. Then the students voted again on which plants and animals to feature. The we brought a design concept for them to approve before proceeding to the final, hand-painted 6-foot scaled mural on wood.
There Are 16 Native Plants and Animals In The Mural Identified On The Legend KEY.
Conceived by Onaga teacher and G.A.T.E. ONES Site Liaison, Mrs. Heather Possehl, the fun and educational mural depicts native plants and animals from the Morongo Basin, and is the first part of a project to create an inviting multi-purpose outdoor learning area for all Onaga students, complete with landscaping and benches.
If You Would Like To Contribute
Your skills, talents, labor, or financial support to the Onaga Outdoor Learning Area, please contact:
G.A.T.E. STUDENTS TO PAINT “DISCOVER OUR DESERT” MURAL-IN-A-DAY AT ONAGA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Under the direction of Larger Than Life Murals, the G.A.T.E. ONES 4th-6th graders at Onaga Elementary School, along with their teacher GATE ONES Site Liaison Heather Possehl, and community volunteers will be painting a “Mural-In-A-Day” on Sat. Apr. 11th, 2015, from 9AM until 5PM on the school campus.
The 37′ x 8′ “Discover Our Desert” Mural Project was conceived by Possehl as part of an effort to create an outdoor learning and meeting area on campus, and is a collaboration between Larger Than Life Murals public artists Linda Shrader and Echo Westover and the G.A.T.E. class.
The painting will begin with a black and white shaded drawing, and the students and volunteers will be adding all the color on Saturday. The public is encouraged to stop by, watch the mural come to life, and be a part of the hi-speed time-lapse video that will be filmed through the day.
“When I first started this journey at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, I never imagined it would culminate by working with such dedicated and talented community members. They are guiding the students down a path of true understanding and helping students learn that they are part of something much bigger than themselves,” says Possehl. “They eagerly look forward to each session with Larger Than Life Murals artists and cannot wait to see their concept become a reality on April 11th.”
Click on any image to open the slide show
Artist Echo Westover, Teacher Heather Possehl, and Onaga G.A.T.E. ONES Class
G.A.T.E. Class Inspecting Mural Design Concept
Onaga G.A.T.E. Students Discussing the Design Progress
Linda Shrader Discusses Painting Techniques With The Class
Linda Shrader Discusses Painting Techniques with Onaga Elementary G.A.T.E. ONES Class
Onaga GATE Class Students Get A Feel For Painting and practice control
Echo Westover Mapping Out Discover Our Desert Mural Color KeyEcho Westover Mapping Out Mural Color Key
Discover Our Desert, Hand Painted Design by Larger Than Life Murals
Through A Series Of After-School Meetings
The students have worked with Shrader and Westover co-creating the mural design, and learning about a wide range of good public art practices, including project planning, art design, respecting copyrights, licensing, the importance of using quality paints and protective coatings, and more. In addition, there was discussion about how fundamental academics like language art skills, mathematics, and sciences are applied to real life situations, even as an artist.
“I like to tell the students that I didn’t think academics were very important because I always knew I wanted to be an artist,” notes Shrader, “And then I became a professional artist, and guess what? I discovered that my so much of my daily operation requires academic skills! We take opportunities like this to not only teach and encourage students in their artistic endeavors, but in their academic studies as well.”
Calculating wall area and paint needed, scaling designs, cost analysis, bookkeeping, are just a few of the areas that require and incorporate math skills. Good language arts skills are a must for proposals, contracts, internet marketing, press releases, and communication between the artist and the client or public. Chemical interactions between primers, paints, and coatings, chemical emissions, as well as environmental and other factors are more easily understood with a firm grasp of chemical properties studied in science curriculums.
“I honestly can’t believe that these two amazing artists are willing to help us create something that will change our school forever,” says 6th grade G.A.T.E student Kahlena Alcantar. “It was very enjoyable meeting them and discussing the rules of painting and planning our artwork together.”
We Need About 15-20 Artist-Assistant Volunteers
As members of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, I invite other member artists to “assist” student-artists on paint day, and hope to inspire others to get involved mentoring, teaching, and sharing their areas of interest and expertise with our children in the community.
For members of the MBCAC or other artists in the community who are interested in assisting our student artists on Saturday, April 11th, for all or part of the day, please contact Linda Shrader 760-413-2116 or by email email@example.com. There is a required informational meeting Thursday, April 9th, 6:30 PM, at Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley.
Larger Than Life Murals has created many public art murals in the Morongo Basin and beyond, teach paint classes, and are advocates of public art and art in school programs.
Since 2007, Larger Than Life Murals has created over 60 murals in Southern CA. We're a full service company specializing in the design and painting of custom public art and private murals. Services include protective coatings, graffiti removal, and restoration. We are also advocates of arts in education.