It was quiet at the college today although I was not entirely alone. Our counselor Ron Brunty was buzzing about posting information and maps to help students find their way tomorrow -- the first day of classes. He caught me in the act of belting out Beatles songs at the top of my lungs while I painted.
The plaque was installed this past Wednesday, but our maintenance staff needed to re-plaster around it, and that had to dry. At the end of the day Friday I was able to cover the new plaster with gesso. And finally today, I was back to painting.
The two lovely people to the right are Pricie Young at the bottom, and Mitchum Whitaker just above her. Pricie got her ten year service award this year. She handles student records, does registration, order supplies for everyone, and many, many other tasks without which the rest of us could not do our jobs. She does it all with that brilliant smile! Pricie earned her associates degree at Southeast in business while working full-time and being a wife and mother to a beautiful daughter.
Mitch is the third Excellence in Sociology award winner I've featured in the mural. Once upon a time in a former life Mitch worked for UPS. Now he fills all his teachers with joy from his inquiring mind and lively humor. During the past spring term not only was Mitch in my Appalachian studies class where he helped to keep the discussions hopping, but we were also fellow students in creative writing. Particularly adept at humorous prose Mitch entertained us all with his readings. Mitch balances school and family with a job driving a school bus for the Letcher County Schools.
To the left you can see the whole area that I am working on, which is just to the right of the plaque.
Below is the panoramic view. The plaque was installed much further from the wall than I had hoped, leaving less room for students. I also have to do something with the blank area (currently painted green) to the left of the plaque and below it. I had already planned to paint a mother duck and her ducklings in the area below the plaque. After some discussion with Eugene Mead the campus administrator, I think I will put a simple flowering vine in the space to the left of the plaque, just something to set it off without distracting from the plaque or the students to the right of it. The white area above and slightly to the right of the plaque will feature another small outdoor grouping of students seated on a marble bench.