Finding the art in town… | SierraSun.com

Finding the art in town…

Katherine Morris

Truckee has a new work of art.

It can’t be viewed in any museum, though, but rather on the side of the Truckee Fire Protection District’s Station 92 on Donner Pass Road.

The colorful mural, which was unveiled last week, is the result of many hours of hard work by a handful of students from Coldstream Alternative and Sierra High schools.

For the last two months, Nicole Cryder, Breanne Cryder, Jerrica Stueven, Raymond Johnson and Eric Smith have donated more than 50 hours of their weekends and after school time to the project.

“I’m so proud of these kids for seeing this project through to a good end,” said Marya Roddis, the local artist and naturalist, who organized the project.

“I’m also so thankful and grateful to the community, especially the fire district for being brave enough to let us do this.”

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The delicate mural, which was originally designed by Roddis, is an artist’s rendering of Truckee – complete with rugged purple mountains, bright green forests and hills dotted with wildflowers.

Below the mural reads: Keep Truckee green and growing. Be fire safe.

“The mural is supposed to depict just how gorgeous this area is and encourage people to keep it that way,” Roddis said. “It’s also a way to generate community interest and community building by getting our kids out and involved in things like this.”

Last week, as students were painting the final leaves and putting the finishing touches on the mural, they were reveling in their grand accomplishment.

“I think the flowers turned out especially cool,” Coldstream Alternative student Jerrica Stueven said with a smile.

Sierra High freshman Raymond Johnson said working on the mural has been relaxing.

“It was a good way to unwind,” he said, crouching down low to work on a tree on the mural’s far right side. “It was really fun to be involved in something like this, too. It feels good to accomplish something.”

“We also got to meet some new people,” Nicole Cryder said, as she and another artist compared the number of paint stains each had accumulated on their jeans. “As a reward, we’ve asked some of the fireman to give us a ride on one of the fire trucks. They said they would, which will be awesome even if we just get to look around inside.”

All of the students said they wished they had more opportunities community involvement.

“We should do this to all of the buildings in town,” Cryder said.

Aside from earning fine arts credits, students also learned lessons about responsibility and teamwork.

“I don’t think the kids can conceive what a privilege it is to do something like this,” said Diana Cryder, the proud mother of two of the young artists, who was on-hand to photograph the mural’s completion. “I think these types of activities keep kids occupied and out of trouble, too. It also gives them a real sense of doing something good for the community.”

Roddis also thanked the Truckee Paint Mart and Mountain Hardware for their help with purchasing supplies.

This is just one of several educational, community service-type projects Roddis is working on with local students.