PCHS student paints murals as part of senior project

Published 6:45 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

Before they are allowed to graduate, Polk County High seniors must complete a senior project that consists of in-depth research, a mentorship, keeping a portfolio that documents the project, completion of a physical project or job shadowing and an oral presentation. This past semester 139 students completed their senior projects.

Many students use the senior project as an opportunity to explore an interest or a possible future career. Senior Brittney Forthmans project is a creative endeavor – an exploration of her passion for art and the start of what she plans to be a small business venture. Forthman completed three painted murals for her project.

I love art and chose this project because I want to advance my painting skills, says Forthman of her lifelong talent. After completing her project she says that she was approached about a possible job opportunity to paint other murals.

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Considering I want to become an artist, this will be the perfect opportunity to get my work noticed, adds Forthman. Her murals are prominently displayed on a barn and an old post office building on her mentors property located on Hwy. 108.

Forthman painted three wall murals for buildings on her mentor Jeannette Rickmans property. She completed a 4×4 foot mural with a quilt pattern, a 4×6 foot mural of horses and a 5×8 foot mural of a sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. She worked with three designs that Rickman had chosen.

Most of my hours were spent painting, says Forthman. As I completed my (project) hours, I realized that even though this was a big project to be done, it was worth my time.

In describing the process she used to complete the project, Forthman says that she began by creating sketches of each design and then used a scale method to create the larger finished product. She utilized her time in art class to work on these as well. Forthman also researched the materials that would work best for outdoor exposure and worked with her mentor to perfect her painting skills for a large-scale project.

We were really pleased with how the paintings turned out, says Rickman. Brittney showed a genuine concern and interest in the art work and we communicated well during the project. Several people have asked me about the paintings.

Following graduation, Brittney plans to pursue an art degree. She says that she learned many lessons from her senior project, both about art and about completing a project in spite of setbacks.

Anyone interested in learning more or hiring Forthman to paint murals can contact her by calling teacher Angie McCammon at Polk County High School 828-894-2525.