Artists chosen for murals at Carson City elementary school

Bill Louis, one of two artists selected to create a mural for the Empire Elementary School playground wall, digitally placed his work on the school's wall.

Bill Louis, one of two artists selected to create a mural for the Empire Elementary School playground wall, digitally placed his work on the school's wall.

Two new murals will soon adorn both sides of Empire Elementary School’s playground wall.

A public art panel including Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes and Susan Squires, the school’s principal, as well as two students who attend Empire, met in the Adams Hub studio on Monday and selected two artists to create murals for either side of the wall.

The chosen artists, Bryce Chisholm and Bill Louis, will each receive a $1,250 stipend.

The project is being overseen by Carson City’s arts and culture office, which sent out a request for qualifications and received 24 applications.

“That’s an astounding number to receive,” Mark Salinas, arts and culture coordinator, told the panel. “In 2016 or 2017, there was another mural done and we got six applications.”

The theme for the murals is “Reach for the Stars.”

“We at the school feel like we’re moving in exciting directions and we want it to reflect that,” said Squires.

The panelists viewed slides of four pieces of artwork submitted by each artist, who were identified only by a number, and then voted on their top two choices.

The other panelists were John Rains, a graphic designer and resident in Ward 3 where Empire Elementary is located; Carolina Garcia, the school’s Parent Teachers Association vice president; and two Cultural Commission members, Mylo McCormick and Guadalupe Ramirez.

Next, the two artists will submit sketches of their proposed murals, which will be reviewed and approved by Salinas and the school district.

Salinas and the school district are still deciding whether to install the murals before school starts or to bring the sketches to a meet-and-greet night at the school on Aug. 16 to get feedback from parents, too.

“The Carson City Arts and Culture Master Plan includes an Arts Education Initiative which plans and secures resources to foster an inviting and creative learning environment for youth,” said Salinas. “I’m delighted to see the actions of such a municipal document expressed as smiles on the faces of parents and children as seen last night.”

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