A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Fireweed Academy students take art to next level with public mural

Teachers and staff at Fireweed Academy in Homer are known for using the arts as a core tool in their curriculums. In no way is that better represented than through a new mural taking on life on the outside of the Little Fireweed building on East End Road.

Teacher Maureen Wilkinson recently guided her students through the second phase of a new mural project — one phase for each quarter of the school year. The theme of the mural currently displayed on the outer wall of the school is “habitat.”

The four themes of this school year are: cycles, habitat, structures and explorations. Each teacher comes up with their own ways to impart these themes onto their students and incorporate them into the curriculum, Wilkinson explained. In collaboration with local artist Carla Cope, Wilkinson’s students have been internalizing each quarter’s theme by helping contribute to a group art mural.

Wilkinson said the idea was born when she spoke with a friend who had been working at Razdolna School at the head of Kachemak Bay. The friend told Wilkinson that through the popular Artists in Schools program Razdolna hosted an artist who did mural work with the students.

From there, it was a matter of planning the mural project and getting parent volunteers on board, which included Cope, Wilkinson said.

For the first quarter mural, the art was based on the method of Kandinsky circles from the art world. This was tied into the “cycles” theme. For this quarter’s “habitat” theme, students were asked to pick an animal they wanted to portray in the mural, with the stipulation that they all be animals found in an Alaska habitat.

The finished product boats myriad eagles, seals, ptarmigans and moose across the colorful backdrop featuring Alaska landscapes and, of course, vivid skies. The kids come up with the ideas for their contributions themselves, and are proud of the finished product, Wilkinson said.

“They loved getting out there and doing all the circles,” she said. “And they had so much fun with all their animals.”

Principal Todd Hindman said he’s a big fan of the project and the idea behind it.

“I love the idea of having four different murals over … the year,” he said. “… It’s another way of showing that art is important for our school and our program. It makes it visible to the public on a daily basis.”

Wilkinson has already been hard at work planning for the next quarter’s mural based on the “structures” theme. The mural is set to involve a cityscape with buildings of different sizes and shapes that the students will get to choose themselves.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A mural of an Alaska habitat and animals painted by Fireweed Academy students is displayed on the outside of the school on East End Road on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. Each quarter, students are creating a new mural to go along with a new education theme. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

More in News

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Case count dips after 5 record days of positive cases

Alaska has had 1,338 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

Courtesy photo | Colleen Torrence
                                Marcella Livemond (left) and her niece, Colleen Torrence, pose in an undated photo.
‘A death that wasn’t theirs’: Local woman says Juneau COVID-19 death incorrectly counted

Deceased was listed as Juneau resident, her niece says she never lived here.

Homer Farmers Market: Options abound for fresh local food

July is upon us with all the regular harvest surprises. The Wednesday… Continue reading

A member of the Homer Senior Citizens Center float marches in the July Fourth parade on Thursday, July 4, 2019 on Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Some July fourth events continue on southern peninsula

Amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic in Alaska, celebrating Independence Day is… Continue reading

Barbara Howard (top left), Matt Clarke (top right), Kate Finn (center left), Andrea Browning (center right) and Aaron Weisser (bottom left) listen to Homer city manager candidate Rob Dumouchel (bottom right) speak during an interview with the City Manager Hiring Committee on Monday, June 29, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. (Screenshot by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Hiring committee recommends candidate for city manager

After hearing what he had to say, members of the City Manager… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a press conference on June 30, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Austin McDaniel/Governor’s Office)
‘Don’t get complacent,’ governor says of pandemic

As Alaska saw one of its highest single-day increases in new positive… Continue reading

Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)
Relief grants for small Homer businesses now available

Using a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)… Continue reading

Registered Nurse Cathy Davis (left) and Chief Nursing Officer Dawn Johnson (right) work at a table to get COVID-19 tests ready for the public Friday, May 29, 2020 at the Boat House Pavilion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. South Peninsula Hospital is now offering free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic people with no appointments necessary at the Boat House Pavilion through June 6. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
3 cities, 3 testing strategies

Peninsula communities take different approaches to COVID-19 testing.

Most Read