Student completes mural

Brendan Heidner Ranger-review Staff Writer
Thursday, June 2, 2022
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Starr Larsen shows off the original mural she painted at Washington Middle School. Principal Katy Kennedy said Larsen did all the planning design work to finish the product. Larsen worked for several months and completed the project on the last day of school. Brendan Heidner photo

The school year came to a serendipitous end for one local student as she completed a large art project on the last day of school.

Starr Larsen, an 8th grade student at Washington Middle School, applied the final strokes of paint to an original mural in the school on Thursday.

Beginning the project on Feb. 4 of this year, Larsen noted it took longer than anticipated due to sports and other school related responsibilities.

According to WMS Principal Katy Kennedy, Larsen did whatever was necessary in order to complete the mural.

“She’s been trying to work around that schedule and been working hard on it (by) staying after school (at times),” Kennedy said.

The idea to paint a mural did not come without thought as Larsen started with smaller works of art that she gave to each of the principals in the Glendive school district.

“I started creating paintings for them (last year) that showed them school spirit,” Larsen said.

The idea for a larger scale art project came after those smaller ones she gave to the principals in an effort to encourage more school spirit from her teachers and fellow students.

“The school colors were one of the big things,” Larsen said, adding she also wanted to effectively portray the WMS mascot - the demons - and make all of the elements in her design “pop.”

According to Kennedy, Larsen did all of the planning and work involved with painting a mural from designing it to the specific paint she needed to complete the project.

“It’s student driven (and) it was completely her idea,” Kennedy said. “She asked me for feedback, but generally I left it up to her because she’s the artist and she had the original vision.”

With Larsen finishing the mural on the last day of school, it has more meaning behind it than if it were finished any other day.

“It’s kind of like serendipity and now just pulls it all together,” Kennedy said. “I was impressed she got it done before the end of school.”

As Larsen moves on to Dawson County High School next year, she noted that she plans to continue pursuing art and take some art classes.

Kennedy noted that she believes student-driven projects and activities are crucial in helping students grow personally and professionally.

“I think it’s so important for kids to have a voice in what their school looks like and to help spread positive messages,” Kennedy said.

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