Renowned muralist and conservationist Wyland announced today that Katrina Larson's art students at East Grand Middle School were named the grand prize winners of the National "Water Is Life" Classroom mural contest for grades 5-8. The contest, inspired by the growing demands on U.S. water resources, took place Oct. 21-Nov. 21, and drew more than 9,000 students across 45 states. Participating students painted 50 square-foot murals depicting the range of habitats and uses for water throughout the United States. "America's water resources are among our greatest treasures," said Wyland, the artist whose pioneering marine life murals are seen by more than 1 billion people around the world every year. "Our coastal waters, rivers, and lakes support millions of people. But like anything they need our attention and art helps put that into focus."
As part of the national "Water Is Life" competition, the Wyland Foundation and its partners provided 300 schools with paint supplies, educational materials, and 50 square foot canvas murals to look at the economic, cultural and aesthetic value of American waters. Additional schools that participated created artworks on other surfaces - from sidewalks to school buildings. The contest encouraged students to study local and national water issues and work collaboratively. Winning classes receive $250 for art supplies, a signed Wyland artwork, and a chance for a live online painting lesson with Wyland
Twelve students at East Grand Middle Schools, ranging in grades from 6th-7th, worked on the mural entitled, "Save the Fraser River." Program organizers hope the process of interpreting water-based habitats through art will lead students to a greater understanding of their role as future caretakers of the resource. An individual art contest for grades K-12 was also held concurrently. Details at wylandfoundation.org/artchallenge.
The National "Water Is Life" Classroom mural contest was presented in partnership with Fredrix Artist Canvas, Arts & Activities Magazine, National Van Lines, the US Forest Service, the Georgia Aquarium and Marco Fine Arts.