By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer
Elida Elementary School fourth-graders participated in a nation wide art project.
The collaborative art project between 42 other schools in the U.S. challenged students to create a mural of their state. Joeli Cathey’s class created a 5-foot-by-6-foot replica of New Mexico that will appear with other state murals in a book.
The book is scheduled to be released at the end of March. Cathey said they were going to give the school copies to sell in fundraisers.
A fourth-grade teacher in Austin, Texas, started the project, Cathey said. Her class had to give notification of their participation in October.
“Around November we started coming up with ideas and talking about New Mexico and the different industries,” Cathey said.
The students had to submit their project before March 1 to be considered, and they turned it in well before the deadline. Cathey said as far as she knows, they are the only school in the state participating.
Cathey said it took the class one hour a day for six days to finish the state mural. They handmade everything on it.
“They also put the peanut shells on,” Cathey said. “They used Dixie cups and spread glue over the board for the peanut shells. The school board is looking for a place here where this can be displayed.”
The students also made a miner for the silver mines, grapes for grape farmers, a hot air balloon for Albuquerque, a wind turbine for the wind farms, and an oil pumping jack, all out of paper clay, a combination of clay and recycled paper. A blue line running down the mural represents the Rio Grande.
The children arranged chiles into the shape of the Zia symbol and glued it into place.
“I had a lot of fun doing this,” Kaull Burton, 10, said.
Riley Summers, 10, made the oil jack and painted it.
“Mrs. Cathey had a picture that we all looked at,” Summers said. “I kind of modified it and painted it.”
All the materials were donated by Trader Horn’s True Value Hardware, Double T Dairy, Russell’s Supersave, Bill’s Welding and Elida Municipal Schools.