Watford City's Wolf Pup Learning Center To Be Transformed With Mural Beginning May 10

Professional street artist, muralist and creative consultant, Shawn McCann to incorporate pre-school children's art into building mural.

The Wolf Pup Learning Center Watford City, along with the Long X Arts Foundation and a committee of parents and teachers, have worked to raise funds to develop a mural on the outside of Wolf Pup Learning Center, which was formerly a post office building, now owned by the city of Watford City.

The vision of the mural is to reflect on the outside, what is being taught and celebrated on the inside of Wolf Pup Learning Center Pre School, which is a home to learning, music, creativity and diversity for preschool students in the area. With help from a North Dakota Council on the Arts Artist in Residence Grant and matching funds provided by the Long X Arts Foundation, the committee was able to begin the process of collaborating with and hiring renowned street artist, muralist and creative consultant Shawn McCann, Minnesota, who has created his special brand of 3D murals from the Midwest, to Disney World and across the globe. He will be working with the students in the classroom, conducting fun art lessons and ultimately using their interpretations of the question, "What makes the world a better place?" to supplement the mural's aesthetic.

"The committee wanted to make this more than just beautification of a building, but also a way for the students and community to engage with a professional artist through unique art curriculum," said Jessie Scofield, Long X Arts Director. "We wanted to give the students a chance to learn first-hand about how art can connect people while demonstrating to the community how art engages our youth and serves as a connection and a way to tell and celebrate our stories."

As an artist in residence, McCann will stay in the community for the duration of 2 - 3 weeks, working with the students, teachers and community members to create the mural from start to finish. Watford City City Council and the Building Committee have approved a preliminary design.

Some of the students' work, and/or an interpretation of the students' work, will be featured in the official design. The students, although young, have and will play a key leadership role as they serve as inspiration for the outcome

When the mural is complete and when the weather allows, there are plans for a chalk-fest celebration and unveiling ceremony outside in the parking lot of Wolf Pup Learning Center that will include music, treats, recognition, sidewalk chalk painting and other hands-on art activities for the students as well as the community as a whole.

The North Dakota Council on the Arts, the Long X Arts Foundation, the Rough Rider Fund, community donations and an Arts Midwest Resiliency Grant has financially supported this project. It has also been awarded the Governor's Main Street Vibrancy Grant. The committee is seeking donations to complete their fundraising needs. You can donate online at longxarts.com or send donations to Long X Arts Foundation PO Box 1739, Watford City, ND 58854.

For more information about McCann's art, history and experience, visit www.shawnmccann.com.


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