Sunday, July 21, 2024

Wenatchee Valley College students bring nature-inspired mural to downtown parking garage

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WENATCHEE - Students from Wenatchee Valley College's ART 141 Illustration class have created a vibrant mural in a downtown Wenatchee parking garage, bringing a splash of color and nature-inspired art to the urban landscape.

The mural, located at the corner of Columbia Street and Orondo Avenue, is the result of a collaboration between the college, building owner Cory Wray, and art instructor Ellen Bruex. Wray had requested a mural that was "bright, positive, and uplifting," giving the students a blank canvas to work with.

The winning design, created by student Betsy Watters, features a combination of multi-colored geometric shapes and botanical elements. Watters drew inspiration from her love for geometric patterns and murals featuring leaves and flowers, aiming to create a visually striking juxtaposition.

The concept behind the mural, termed "graphic rewilding" by fellow student Sarah Sims, is based on the idea that images of nature in urban settings can have positive effects on the mind. "Beautifying urban spaces with nature art brings a sense of calm and beauty to a space that's chaotic or drab and sterile," Sims explained.

Five students worked on the mural project: Watters, Sims, Jasmine "Yasmeen" Abou Ammo, Adelyn "Addy" Kershner, and Adalie "Addy" Macon. Instructor Bruex praised the collaborative effort, stating, "Having many hands here has been really rewarding."

The project not only provides students with real-world experience working on a large-scale art installation but also allows them to contribute to the community through their artistic talents. "Students have had a lot of pride in it. This is the opportunity to serve the community through art," Bruex added.

The college plans to offer more illustration courses with a mural focus in the future, with the next one scheduled for the spring of 2025. Business owners interested in creating mural spaces are encouraged to reach out to Bruex for planning and collaboration.

Wenatchee Valley College students' mural work can also be found on several buildings throughout the college's campus, showcasing the talent and creativity of the art department.

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