Public Mural Program
The Deerfield Fine Arts Commission has installed three new murals by Deerfield High School students Kath Fillman, Maddi Turner and Charlotte Larson. Two of the murals are on the east wall of the AT&T building in the Village Center and one is located inside the lower level of the Jewett Park Community Center.
Working with the Fine Arts Commission, Deerfield High School Art Teacher Mike Moran held a mural contest and used it as a way to teach students about public art. This year, students were asked for their pieces to be inspired by nature, sustainability and ecology. The Fine Arts Commission reviewed the top 21 designs and then six finalists presented their mural concepts to the Commission.
The murals will be on display for one year and will be replaced by other student art. AT&T donated the use of their walls.
"Genderless Person Holding The Tree"
Kath Fillman, Deerfield High School
This piece illustrates the beneficial relationship between nature and humanity. Throughout this piece, I’ve drawn inspiration from my own life. As a gardener and environmentalist, I’ve grown up seeing the Earth’s beauty and strength. In my piece, the androgynous person allows for a greater connection, letting everyone see themselves in this piece. Furthermore, I want to show the nurturing relationship between humanity and the Earth. The placement of the tree in the arms of humanity shows that humans and plants are dependent upon each other. This codependency is the focal point of the piece, stressing the importance of our relationship with the Earth. I hope that this piece can serve as a reminder to conserve and love the planet.
"Forest with Frog and Peacock"
Maddi Turner, Deerfield High School
My piece is a scene of a small pond in the middle of the jungle. It was drawn digitally in Photoshop. When I first heard the theme of the ecology and environment my mind was immediately filled with a quiet scene of a dark rainforest, filled with glowing fireflies. Gentle rays of light cut in from a gap if the foliage. The peacock, snake, monkey, and frog are there to simply show one small moment from their lives. I wanted to display the beauty and mystery of nature, to inspire people to protect our world instead of destroy the homes of the Earth’s creatures.
My creative roots (pun intended) have always been as a storyteller. My pieces and character designs always have some background or story to them. In this piece there’s a distinct mark of humanity, a boat with a lantern still lit, yet no people in sight. The boat was added with the intention of hinting at a story, to let the viewer imagine what happened and decide for themselves how the scene had played out. A story is always more exciting when you get to choose the ending.
Charlotte Larson, Deerfield High School
Over the years, I have developed a passion for nature, sustainability, and ecology that has influenced my artistic work greatly. I strongly believe that the only way to protect the natural world is to create communities that foster connections between people and nature. In my piece, I wanted to show that the natural world and the human world are not separate like we often perceive them to be. Throughout my work, I have experimented with the idea of roots. As we all know, roots are what ground a tree, for instance, and supply it with the nutrients that it needs to survive. But what we tend not to acknowledge is that we as people are also rooted in nature. We are nourished by plants, animals, weather patterns, and so much more. In turn, we also play a part in supporting the Earth by caring for all of its other residents including each other. This interconnectedness is something that I wanted to highlight by showing people interacting with not only nature, as represented by the tree, but also with one another. On the more technical side, I wanted the medium to parallel Earth’s flow. I chose to use watercolor for its fluidity and basis in nature, and I gave the piece depth and texture with colored pencil. In our modern world, we have a tendency to ignore ecological life, forget about sustainability in favor of consumerism, and even push other people away in pursuit of selfish gain. But I firmly believe that we, as a community, must be one that teaches our people how to form unique, personal connections to nature. By doing this, we will ensure that people will stand up for the environment not because they are obligated to do so, but because they want to.