On Saturday, March 27, William Monroe High School art students met their teacher at the Greene County Community Park to paint a mural on the side of the new Parks & Recreation office. The students were fulfilling volunteer hours for the National Art Honor Society, since there was no art festival at the school this year due to the pandemic.
To be in National Art Honor Society, students must demonstrate a combination of artistic skill and good grades. One of the students present (senior Haley Saylor) just got accepted into Virginia Commonwealth University Arts for next year, which is one of the top art schools in the country. Society members complete volunteer hours every year and would normally be hard at work putting on the annual arts festival at the high school in the spring. This is the second year the festival has been canceled due to COVID-19.
Parks & Recreation Interim Director Sean Sweeney and WMHS art teacher Jennifer Tremblay teamed up to make this project—the first collaboration between the two offices—come to life, and they hope to have the mural completed in another week or two.
“Sean contacted me when he became interim director a couple months ago,” Tremblay said. “The trailer … is new to this location and he was just hoping to have something to beautify it a bit. He’s also been looking to build community relationships … and he had driven by the rock [at the high school] and seen the work that we do on the rock.”
The mural features a charming mountain vista complete with a sunset, although it was not yet completed at the time these photos were taken.
“I came up with the design; I knew we needed to have something that focused on the outdoors,” Tremblay said. “We’ve never done a mural of this size before, so I also wanted it to be something that we had a lot of leeway for things to change as they went up there. Mountains … seemed like a good kind of starter for us.”
The mural uses exterior-grade latex and all of the supplies either came from Tremblay’s classroom or were donated by Lowe’s. Sweeney hopes to have students from the tech center over to work on the landscaping later this season.
“One thing with the office being down here is it is bringing a lot more people down to the park, which is a good thing,” Sweeney said of the new building. “I just wanted to partner with the school system in some sort of way; I try to keep the community aspect to the park. I think it’s going to be something that we do annually.”
Sweeney is looking forward to youth soccer, which begins April 10. He is also excited that the new office has enough space to offer small classes, and will be partnering with Tremblay again for an art class painting watercolor greeting cards April 17.
For more information on the Parks & Recreation office programming, visit greenecountyva.gov/government/depts/parks-recreation.