A blended color pencil drawing created by Batesville Middle School (BMS) seventh grader Wesley Edwards has been selected by the board of directors of the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) for the third installation in its mural project in downtown Batesville during the 2022-23 academic year. Edwards’ submission visually depicts all of the subjects taught at BMS, reflecting BCEF’s current theme of school staff.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing art,” Edwards explained. “It helps me focus and fills time when I am bored. When I designed the mural, I wanted to include everything in the school. If I were to just do social studies, or art or whatever, there wouldn’t be anything for the archery group, or the football team, or any other subject. Each and every one of the subjects is important: reading is important to be able to learn and math is important for literally every single job that exists. I wanted to show that by drawing my mural with all the subjects.”
BMS art teacher Lynne DiMuzio worked with students to design artwork for this special project to be presented to the education foundation. Students learned about graphic design, lettering, and colored pencil blending in art class. DiMuzio selected five students’ work to submit to BCEF, and the board of directors chose Edwards’ design for its creativity and comprehensive take on the theme.
“Wesley is an exceptionally talented artist,” DiMuzio said. “When we charged students with the task of creating a mural to honor staff at BMS, he wanted to include everyone. In great detail, he worked overtime completing this composition. Wesley’s technique is exceptional and I can see this talent opening many doors for him to succeed in the future. I am very proud to be his art teacher.”
Once selected, the artwork was converted by Rowland Graphics into a digital file and then enlarged to a size of 64 square feet and printed on artboard to fit the large frame permanently installed in downtown Batesville on the side of The Simons Company building, located at the corner of Main and George Streets. The BMS mural will remain there until sometime in May when artwork from Batesville High School students will take center stage.
“BCEF is glad to see that this art outreach program has become very popular,” said Anne Wilson, executive director. “More importantly, we love that students have a chance to shine. For us, it’s about supporting and celebrating the educational opportunities that students receive at the Batesville Community School Corporation. No better way to do that than to have tangible proof right in the middle of downtown.”
BCEF would like to thank DiMuzio for her assistance and BMS principal Dave Strouse for his support. In addition, Jimmy Rowland from Rowland Graphics donated his time to install the mural, and Nick Maple, the owner of the building, provided the use of his location for the display. BCEF board member Ryan Holcomb assists board president/programs chair Jama Linkel-Cleghorn with coordinating the program.