Haines High School Art Students Launch Skatepark Mural Project | Radio KHNS

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Giselle Miller, art teacher in Haines, takes a photo of art students (Corinne Smith / KHNS)

Haines high school students recently started a skatepark mural project at a community event. As Corinne Smith of KHNS reports, the student’s outdoor art project also faced vandalism, which was a learning experience for young artists.


There is palpable excitement in the air, as students, families, teachers and friends gathered on a cool fall evening to view the Haines Art Students Skatepark Mural Project. There’s food, music and catching up, as it’s also one of the first community events since a recent wave of COVID last month.

“It’s so sweet. I’m so happy that people are coming here to come and see our pieces,” s said.the elder Trygve Bakky, overlooking the large indoor skatepark, while the skaters navigate and the younger ones play on the ramps.

“We have been working on it since the end of August, the beginning of September. It was a full course that we all took, sort of outlining the process of distributing artwork via graffiti, and how we do it legally. You know, write a proposal to the borough, kind of explain what we were doing, ”Bakky said.

The class, led by art teacher Giselle Miller, and assisted by local artist Jeremy Setem, consisted of developing proposals with drawings and budgets submitted to the borough. ideas.

Now the walls and railings are adorned with distinct colorful paintings in different styles and sections.

“I worked on painting the universe there, it was a lot of fun,” Bakky said, gesturing to a large ramp.

Hayden Jimenez skates a ramp with a new paint of the universe (Corinne Smith / KHNS)

Next to the orbiting planets, there is a large shape-line killer whale. This is one of the many works of art that was there before that have been incorporated, such as a multi-colored face, painted by a young Haines, Mario Benassi Jr, tragically died in a river accident in California A few years ago. There is now a new mural of Benassi next door, singing and playing the guitar.

Freshman Hayden Jimenez stops skating to chat. He says that before the skatepark was kind of forgotten, there was garbage and a lot of penis designs, maybe it was even intimidating for some. Now it’s a lot more fun.

“Yeah, a lot more fun, better energy in general from the skatepark,” Jimenez said. “Yes, there are some pretty cool and talented artists and artwork. “

On one wall is a striking woman in profile, wearing a mask, shedding a dark blue tear.

“I really love pop art, so that was the inspiration for it,” said selder Aubrey Cook, the artist. She reflected on what it was like to exhibit her work in a public space.

“I think it was so cool, I’ve never done that kind of piece. Especially so big, I’ve never done a piece this big, ”Cook said. “If you had been here before, it was just a bunch of graffiti all over the place, with inappropriate things, but now it’s like a really nice space. And we’ve all learned that it’s a living, breathing space, which means it will eventually be covered over by other people’s artwork, but we’re really grateful that we had this opportunity to to paint.

Aubrey Cook with her artwork (Corinne Smith / KHNS)

And it was a hard lesson. During the course project, some rooms were partially vandalized and had to be repainted. Art teacher Giselle Miller says there was an apology and the class addressed the situation together.

“It’s part of street art, it’s part of graffiti, it’s that it changes and evolves,” Miller said. “I think teaching students this impermanence is also very important. I made a few big chunks and they’re gone, so documentation is also very important and part of the process.

Miller says she is incredibly proud of their personal and artistic growth.

The community can now view student artwork at the Haines skatepark.

Students selling macaroons and hot drinks, fundraising for the school’s Art Club (Corinne Smith / KHNS)

Artist Jeremy Settem paints at the community showcase event (Corinne Smith / KHNS)


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