WSU paints mural for school

Art, chemistry departments collaborated with local school district to create artwork



Kamiak Elementary School hosted a ceremony to honor the mural created by WSU students. “Elementary kids love art,” said Evan Hecker, principal of Kamiak Elementary School. “They love creating things.”

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

A mural depicting a kestrel bird flying over tulips sits on the playground of Kamiak Elementary School.

The school held a ceremony to celebrate the color-changing mural created by WSU students.

Evan Hecker, principal of Kamiak Elementary, said the event recognizes the collaboration between the Pullman school district, the WSU art department and WSU chemistry department.

“We saw the mural grow in our initial months as a school, so it was a good community project,” he said.

Joe Hedges, Amy Nielsen and other project members supported the completion of the mural, Hecker said. Hedges was involved in the painting process and Nielsen was involved in the chemistry aspect of developing the colors used.

Hecker said it was a great fit to share a canvas with Hedges and his team to provide inspiration for students.

“Elementary kids love art,” he said. “They love creating things.”

Hecker said they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the university and from people they’ve worked with on the project. Hecker said it was exciting to see how happy the project team was once the project was completed.

It’s really exciting to know that we can help and that it provided an avenue in the area for them to create a piece of art, he said.

Meg Gollnick, Kamiak Parent Teacher Association (PTA) mural chair, said they were able to receive a STEM grant from VITALENT because of the chemistry component of the project, which was the chroma chromatic paint and the color-changing paint.

Gollnick said it’s always fun to meet the students that worked on the project and hear their stories about their interactions with the kids as they worked on the project during recess.

“[WSU students] have stories about the young students saying ‘I’m going to be an artist one day,’” she said. “They’re almost inspiring kids as they’re painting — I love that.”

She said the process of transferring the graphic image from the paper to the wall was fascinating to watch.

Gollnick said they wanted some type of artwork in the playground for the children because she believes that art encourages a sense of community for everyone, especially children.

“It’s beautiful and I hope that people, especially children can almost jump into the painting and use their imagination to inspire creative play,” she said. “That’s my number one reason is to inspire creative play in children.”