The community room at Elk River High has a new look, thanks to high school students in drawing, painting and AP studio art classes.
The room — used by numerous clubs and organizations for meetings and gatherings — now offers its own glimpse into the community.
Art students created a 10-segment mural depicting scenes from the Elk River area, everything from a Handke stadium winter scene to one of the city’s modern water towers. The mural measures 6.5 feet tall and 24 feet wide.
The project started back in November when AP studio art students sat down with their teacher, Rana Nestrud, and muralist Dan Mondloch to discuss concepts. In the end, Nestrud and Mondloch merged as many of the students’ ideas as possible into one final design.
In December students chose their imagery and began by hand drawing the panels. Drawing 2 and 3 students assisted with half of the panels. Those panels were then passed along to the Lisa Rebrovich’s painting class for finishing. The AP students followed their panels from concept to completion.
“As a class we are designing and painting the final piece. Our goal is to give back and to show our school and community how thankful we are,” said Jordan Mathewson, ERHS senior.
The art department hosted an open house Jan. 18 to view the mural. Teachers were invited to bring their classes down to view the finished artwork.
Art student docents gave details of the process and invited questions. Following the viewing, the student guests and their teachers were invited to provide a “one word” response to the piece.
These words were gathered into a wordle created by Rebrovich.
“This project allowed students with a variety of skill levels to work collaboratively with a working artist (Dan Mondloch) and give back to the school,” said Rebrovich, painting teacher.
“Artists generally work independently,” Nestrud said. “I loved the way students negotiated ideas and encouraged each other. The panels evolved through dialogue and many layers of paint!”
Nestrud said it is the hope of high school art students that people enjoy the mural.