Chattanooga area high school students learn the art of murals

Chattanooga area high school students learn the art of murals

June 18th, 2013 by Lindsay Burkholder in Local Regional News

Artist Shaun Larose relocates a ladder as Chattanooga Christian School students prepare a wall in East Chattanooga for a mural late Monday morning. Larose explained that the mural will be a community piece reflecting generations of hope and values.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Ali Rose Smith, an eighth-grade student at Chattanooga Christian School, scrapes paint from a wall in East Chattanooga off Glass Street to prepare it for paint during the first day of a weeklong summer camp with mural artists Shaun LaRose and Rondell Crier.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

There's much more to creating a mural than slapping a bunch of paint on a wall.

First, the surface has to be washed and sanded, any cracks have to be filled and the entire surface has to be coated in a waterproof seal.

Nine local high school students came face to face with the hard work of creating art Monday afternoon when they began prepping a Glass Street wall for a fresh coat of paint. But not just any paint. Local artists Shaun LaRose and Rondell Crier spent hours designing a mural to fill an exterior wall of the Community of Christ church along Glass Street.

"We're looking at Glass Street and the renewal efforts there and we're hoping to create a mural that's high enough quality to draw people there," said LaRose, who also teaches middle and high school art at Chattanooga Christian School.

The students are participating in a weeklong summer camp that focuses on exposing them to professional artists, as well as getting them involved in local communities.

"We want to inspire more working artists to make something beautiful for our city," said Susanne Bowling, director of after-school programs and the arts academy at CCS.

"This way, they'll get to see the process of creating a mural while also participating in something giving back, creating an asset for the community," LaRose said.

LaRose said the piece would focus on the legacy of those who have lived in the community for years and how they are impacting the future.

"There's a matron weaving a tapestry sweeping across to a figure that represents the future," he said. "It's the virtues of faith, hope and love being passed down in visions of the future."

LaRose hopes several of the students will stay on for the whole summer as interns and see the project through to the end.

"We're hoping to identify a couple people to work with through the rest of the process and then work with them elsewhere on their own mural," he said. "We're hoping that those couple of students will rise up and do their own work."

Contact staff writer Lindsay Burkholder at lburk holder@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.