New Nolan mural paints picture of Florida landscape


New Nolan mural paints picture of Florida landscape


Date: December 5, 2012
by: Josh Siegel | Staff Writer



LAKEWOOD RANCH — Charlie Gillam’s friends tell her they could walk straight through the 25-foot-by-8-foot mural she helped paint because it looks so real.

Last week, Charlie and other members of Nolan Middle School’s Fine Arts Club for Talented Students (FACTS) completed their second mural on the side of a portable classroom. This one represents a beach at Emerson Point.

Under the direction of Nolan art teacher Wade Smith, the group of seventh- and eighth-grade students worked two days a week after school for nine weeks to finish the project.

The mural is part of a series of three designed to turn the sides of the school’s portables into an outside gallery of Florida environments.

Last year, the club painted a wetland scene, which sits next to the new mural.

“We started off with a few coats of blue paint. Then, we attached a paint brush to a long poll and stabbed at (the portable wall),” said Charlie, who said she had no prior painting experience.

Students started by looking at a small painting by Smith. Students then individually sketched the scene before working on the real project.

Quinn Birmingham, a second-year FACTS club student, said challenges included working on such a large canvas and mixing colors.

“I learned that trees have more colors than brown,” Quinn said. “You also need to add more color to water than just blue to make it stand out. Together, it is all supposed to represent Florida’s seagulls and beautiful beaches.”

Next, Smith is planning an agriculture-themed mural for the school cafeteria.

Contact Josh Siegel at


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