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A touch of color

When Elizabeth Jens joined Bear River High School in August as an art teacher, she walked around the campus and noticed “how stark it was.”

“I was thinking how the Acropolis used to be richly painted, though now it looks just white,” Jens said. “That’s when I thought of painting the pillars (on campus) to bring some color, some life into the way the campus looked.”

For the past few weeks, about 25 advanced art students from Jens’ class are painting about 15 pillars around the Bear River office and in the art and special education section of the campus.



“Each student chose a specific culture to focus on,” Jens said. “Then they did some research on the designs and symbolism from that culture. The main task then was to use those designs and symbols to create something that reflected them as artists, in a modern way.”

On Tuesday, Amara Richardson, a senior from Jens’ class, assiduously painted a purple and olive green giraffe on a muted yellow pillar. The figure of the animal was surrounded with geometric shapes painted in black bold strokes.




“I like the fact that I get to leave something at school (when I graduate next year),” Richardson said about the project. “It’s just fun. I like to paint in my special kind of way.”

Jens’ pupils are using water-based acrylic house paint donated by local stores in Grass Valley such as B & C True Value Hardware, Knight’s Paint and A to Z Supply, Jens said.

“I wrote a letter (to the stores) saying what the project was about and what the school needed and people responded in a day,” she said.

John Goldschneider, another senior, is painting a pillar with an Egyptian theme with his classmate, Michael Zampirro. The most noticeable part of the painting, so far, is a red-faced sun god with greenish-yellow teeth against a bright blue sky.

“This is fun stuff,” Goldschneider said. “I look forward to the end of the day when I can paint after all my classes .”

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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