Dordt College News

Dordt art majors create giant mural

December 7, 2005

What do you get when you mix 17 artists, 250 hours of sketching and painting, gallons of paint and a great idea?

At Sioux Center Christian School, the answer is a 65 x 5 timeline and mural, which will serve young students for years to come in visualizing the course of history. Giant Mural

Located in the school library, the project was instigated by librarian Joanne Soodsma, who thought the five foot wall atop wall-to-wall bookcases would be a perfect spot for a colorful timeline. I wanted it to be something meaningful and useful to students, said Soodsma, who had repeatedly noted that elementary children dont have a good sense of the flow of time and how historical events relate.

She spoke with John Olthoff, a professor at Dordt College, who suggested contacting the Dordt Art Department to create the mural. The Painting I class of Susan Van Geest accepted the challenge, providing the labor for this community service project, while SCCS provided the paint, scaffolding, etc.

Each of the 17 students contributed about 15 hours of work to the finished project. Lindsey Shearer was the primary designer of the mural, but all the students assisted in some way with the design.

Soodsma said it has been exciting for children to come to the library throughout the semester to see how the painting has progressed. She has already utilized the mural timeline in helping students identify the time period in which specific historical events took place.

Dordt Painting I students who helped create a mural at Sioux Center Christian School were (front, from left) Rebecca Postma, Clara City, MN; Amanda Niewenhuis, Corsica, SD; Lauralee Stel, Lansing, IL; Lindsey Shearer, Monument, CO; Rita Vander Wal, Manteca, CA; Kara Kuipery, Rockwood, ON, Canada; Sarah Franken, Sioux Center, IA; Liz Terborg, Pella, IA; Randi Unverzagt, Canton, SD; (on scaffold, from left) Ginelle Bakker, Welland, ON, Canada; Michelle Obbink, Hawarden, IA; Mason Welsh, Neligh, NE; Brent Koops, Osborne, KS; Philip Van Dyken, Ripon, CA; Tara Warolin, Sumas, WA; and Mark Wikkerink, Duncan, BC, Canada.

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