COVID-19 has certainly impacted summer activities for many, however, a group of talented high school visual art students decided to put on a face mask, get out of the house and create a mural for the community of Pea Ridge this summer.
The opportunity for the mural was presented by Teresa Jackson who serves on the Park and Recreation Council. Teresa shared that the community had built a new splash pad and wanted to have the maintenance building embellished with an aquatic theme that catered to young children. Crystal McWilliams, high school art teacher, welcomed the opportunity for her upper level students. The class created designs to be approved by Pea Ridge City Council. However, just after City Council’s approval of the design the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US. The mural project came into question and all hoped that it could be picked up in the fall. After a grueling semester of virtual learning with little opportunity to express their creativity publically the students voiced that they did not want to miss out on this experience and inquired if it were possible to paint the mural during the summer as the splash pad would be closed.
Mrs. McWilliams secured equipment and materials and the class organized a schedule to paint their underwater themed mural. Armed with paint brushes and donned with face masks, students arrived at the location as early as 6:30 am to avoid the summer heat. Students prepped the cinder block walls, sketched their design and completed painting the mural before the end of the summer break. Though the splash pad is closed this summer, it will re-open in 2021 with a beautiful, bright ocean themed mural for the children to enjoy!
AAA has now created public murals in three communities in NW Arkansas, Rogers Skate Park, Gooseberry Pies in Bentonville, and now the community Splash Park in Pea Ridge.