Wye River Upper School Students Create Mural in Rock Hall


Nine students from the Public Art class at Wye River Upper School have been chosen to design and create a mural at The Mainstay, a cultural and artistic center in Rock Hall, MD. Wye River teachers Katie Lillard, Art, and Karen Gilbert, English saw the call to local artists posted by the Main Street Rock Hall Steering Committee and worked together with Lillard’s class to submit a portfolio and apply for the mural spot. Their proposal was accepted in January and they quickly began their design process with knowledge of the location, theme and size of the mural.  Lillard, with expertise in mural design and installation, led her students to collaborate with Hagopian Arts, a professional mural company in Philadelphia that specialize in eco murals. After several weeks of designing, the class came up with a fitting mural concept that highlighted the theme: “Bountiful Resources of the Chesapeake Bay–from Plants to Fish to Crustaceans.”

Their creation was turned into a digital design that could then be projected onto a parachute cloth to be painted at school and later adhered to the wall at the mural site. With paint generously donated from Sherwin Williams, students matched each shape to the color needed, similar to a large paint by numbers. Wye River students have also partnered with two nearby Kent county schools to get the job done. Kent County Middle and Kent County High School students have been integral contributors to the painting process.

The Public Art Class at Wye River Upper School designed the mural and will help install it.

On May 11th an opportunity for community collaboration was available through a community-wide paint day from 1:00pm-4:00pm at two mural location spots: Bayside Foods and Java Rock Coffee House. A tentative date has been set for May 23rd to install the mural and the reveal is set for June 11th  from 6:00pm-7:30pm (invitation only).

Wye River is especially proud to be part of a project that not only gives students the chance to work together artistically to design a real-world, published and long-lasting design, but also promote education and awareness of the natural resources that surround us in the Chesapeake Bay area, a focus of study for our students.

Wye River and the Main Street Rock Hall Steering Committee thank the following patrons and supporters of “The Murals of Rock Hall:” Bayside Foods (Debbie, Jeff and Andrew Carroll), Dowling’s Painting (Sam Dowling), Java Rock (Joanne and Jim Rich), Kent County Arts Council, the Mainstay, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Maryland State Arts Council and Sherwin Williams (Greg Krafchik).

WRUS is an independent high school serving the strengths and needs of bright students with learning differences.  The school is located in the former Maryland National Guard Armory in Centreville, MD. WRUS accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. For more info about the school, visit www.wyeriverupperschool.org or contact Kimberleigh Garcia at 410-758-2922 or kimberleighgarcia@wyeriverupperschool.org.

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