OPPORTUNITY FOR ART
When Mayland Early College High School Principal Stacie Burleson wanted to create murals for the school, she knew exactly what to do.
She formed a partnership with Penland School of Crafts Manager of Community Collaboration Stacey Lane and Rural Education Partners of Mitchell County to find local artists and students to create two murals – one of food to hang in the school’s cafeteria and another of a wolf to fill a blank hallway wall space in the back of the building.
Burleson reached out to Rural Education Partners of Mitchell County Director Lori Gilcrist, who then convened the group. Lane tapped Burnsville-based muralist and nearly 20-year arts and humanities teacher at Mayland Rhea Ormond to lead the team of MECHS students Katie McMahan, 17, of Spruce Pine, Lily Adams, 17, of Lenoir, and Amber Vance, 17, of Newland, who worked on the murals after school every Tuesday and Thursday for eight weeks.
“We needed something to fill those areas,” Burleson said. “(Ormond) allowed the students to come up with their own theme.”
The mural project was open to all interested students. Transportation was a slight issue for some of the students because the project was worked on after school.
“The girls who did participate were very dedicated,” Burleson said. “The school does not offer art as a class, so this was our way of reaching out and we couldn’t have done it without Stacey, Rhea and the Rural Education Partnership. I look forward to working with them on another project in the fall.”
Ormond has murals hanging in Spruce Pine Walmart and Riverside Park, among other places.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to have art in their lives,” she said.