Watford City High School To Host Mural Artist


Watford City students begin painting the mural.

The Watford City High School Art Department and the Long X Arts Foundation will be home to mural artist, award-winning arts programmer and teaching artist Markus Tracy from April 1-12.

Tracy's two week residency at WCHS is focused on working with the junior high, high school and after school art students to design, implement and create a comprehensive mural on the wall in the fine arts wing of the high school. This will be the first piece of public art in the school.

Tracy is known for his successful partnerships with schools, museums, civic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and correctional facilities throughout the United States. Along with exhibiting his work nationally, Tracy has been awarded numerous public art commissions, grants, and artist in residencies throughout the United States. "The students are in good hands with Markus," said Jessie Scofield, director of the Long X Arts Foundation. "This year is our first year working with the art department on an after school art club for teenagers, and this mural project was something they really wanted to see through. We wanted to help make it the best possible experience for them so we sought partnerships from some great organizations who believe in the power of art experiences."

Tracy's visit is made possible through a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts and a generous sponsorship from Oneok, Inc. Meyer's Department Store is providing Tracy's lodging during his stay.

Tracy believes that the function of murals should go beyond an aesthetic appeal but bridge a common ground based on social and cultural understanding.

Tracy will be in the classroom working with students during his entire residency. The process includes helping them conceptualize the design, present it to the school for approval and then assisting them in organizing a plan to involve other students and volunteers to complete the piece. The idea is to put the process in the students' hands. By the time Tracy leaves on April 12, Watford City High School will be home to a complete piece of art that is unique to the students who designed it.

"This project is something the kids have been excited about since fall," said Jane Hadley, WCHS art instructor. "It gives the kids a sense of ownership in the building and pride in being creative. We are very thankful for the support we received to get him here to share his expertise."

"This is truly a unique experience for these students and we hope that it opens the door to many more opportunities for the community to be involved and invest in public art," add Scofield. "Watch for your chance to help make this mural come to life in the coming week!"

To follow along with the process and learn about how to get involved, follow the Long X Arts Foundation on Facebook, Instagram or visit http://www.longxarts.com.

Inquiries or suggestions, contact Jessie at 701-770-8659 or email [email protected]

Updated Wednesday, April 3rd:

A community work night has been scheduled for Thursday, April 11 from 3:30 until 9. Come for a few minutes or stay all night. Open to all ages and skill levels. Come in the L6 North Door. Snacks available.


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