Thursday, September 4, 2014

Figurative Friday: Monticello Murals Sneak Peek

If you haven't seen much of me lately, it's because I've been in the studio every. waking. moment. (And some non-waking moments, too.) Along with the summer's Plein Air competitions, some illustration jobs, and the Deseret Book Lunch and Learn, I've been painting some murals.

Detail of "Adventure: The Readers' Circle"
Earlier this year I was commissioned by the San Juan School District to create some original art for their new Monticello Elementary School. I was excited, because I had a great time working with them a couple of years ago and also because my wife attended the old Monticello Elementary School.

These are big paintings: 3 and a half feet tall and over 7 feet wide. There are six of them. These pieces have challenged me, engaged me, and delighted me over these last few months. They've been a great project. 

I wanted these paintings to be both site-specific and universal. I worked with people from the community for models (including some teachers who actually teach at the school) and used local landscapes. At the same time, I tried to capture themes that are common to childhood and education. My main goal was for the kids who walk under the paintings every day to see them and get excited about the possibilities of the things they were learning. I wanted the paintings to give Monticello Elementary School students a connection to where they came from, who they are, and what they can do.
Detail of "Discovery: New Friends at Loyds Lake"

This post is just a taste of the murals. The complete set of 6 will be unveiled next Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at the new Monticello Elementary School. A description of the event from the San Juan Record: "Dedication services are set to begin at 5 p.m. Afterwards, an open house and celebration will run from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include food, tours, and activities for kids and adults. Six paintings by local artist Richard Russell will be unveiled at the event." (Read more: San Juan Record- New Monticello School . . . )
Detail of "Creativity: Kid Made"

I hope you'll join us for the unveiling and check out the new school!

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