The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Student art exhibit focuses on county history


Wahkiakum High School sophomore Shelby Bond painted a portrait of Maria Dorris, upper right, for an exhibit at Redmen Hall. Photo by Rick Nelson.

Wahkiakum students have been working on an exciting new exhibit entitled "Welcome Home: A Sunnier Historical Perspective of Wahkiakum County!" opened at the River Life Interpretive Center at Redmen Hall in Skamokawa last weekend.

Wahkiakum High School art teacher Sue Garn, Darla Mead, who teaches music to middle school and high school students, and Paul Lawrence, the middle school architecture teacher were the driving force behind this immense creative project.

The exhibit "reflects the joy of visiting the historical past generations of Wahkiakum County through the creative, contemporary eyes of our middle and high school fine arts students," Garn wrote. "We focused on the music, individuals, and couples living in the county and on the structures in the county between 1846 and the end of World War II."

According to Garn, Mead's music students researched and learned about Big Band and Broadway music from the early to mid-1940s.

Lawrence could be seen around Cathlamet with students rendering drawings of historical buildings and homes.

Garn's students visited the Wahkiakum Historical Society Museum to identify a local individual or couple from the past. Each student was allowed to select an individual or couple that resonated with them and then each student went forth and created a portrait.

"As a consequence, there are individuals [in the exhibit] whose names may be less well known," Garn wrote, "but who were contributing members of the county's identity."

Museum curator Kari Kandoll provided photos to Garn, who ran them through a program on her computer to sharpen the photos and to remove color "so the students could approach the portraits with their own personal aesthetic."

"Everyone in the community will be closer for the efforts of every participant in this project," Garn wrote. "We know more about who the residents were in Wahkiakum County and who the residents are now in Wahkiakum County. We are proud to be numbered among these good people."

The exhibit runs all summer, from June 1 to September 28.


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