OUTLOOK: GIANT CONFIDENCE: Student-designed mural adds color to Bovina Elementary School

Published 4:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2023

Giants are roaming the halls at Bovina Elementary School — and they’re conveying a message of self-confidence.

Two years ago, Bovina Elementary School teacher Amanda Gordon said, the interior walls of Bovina had been painted and during the refresh, past artwork had been covered up. Therefore, to bring back some color and artistic expression to the bare walls, Gordon, who is also part of the school’s Lighthouse Environmental Team, came up with the idea to paint a mural on the wall. And she wanted the students to be part of the creative process, she said.

“So, I came up with the idea of having a mural contest,” Gordon said, and in doing so, she said, she also had members of the environmental team come up with a few quotes the students could use as inspiration.

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Sixth-grade student Audrie Quimby was inspired by a song lyric by Sanctus Real, “Face your giants with confidence,” which she used to create the winning painting that was then transformed into a mural for the school’s wall.

“I personally thought that the quote (about giants) meant the obstacles in your life,” Quimby said. “Like this year, I had to learn how to play the trumpet for the band and next year I am going to have to go to a whole new school for junior high, so like big obstacles in life like that you need to face with confidence, and you don’t need to be scared of them. Go straight forward into them with confidence.”

Gordon said it was not mandatory for the children to paint a picture reflective of the sayings or in Audrie’s case the song lyric — it was merely an aid to get the students’ creative juices flowing.

And flow it did, because Gordon said there had been quite a few entries.

In fact, after all the entries had been submitted, students who are part of the Lighthouse team chose seven submissions as the top contenders.

Gordon said they then “collaborated” with Vicksburg muralist Drew Landon Harris so that he could help them choose which piece would be most appropriate and have an impact as a mural.

Harris had also been asked to share his skills in constructing the mural while students helped paint.

While Quimby’s painting was chosen as the winner from the seven finalists, Gordon said, it was decided the remaining six would be framed and hung on either side of the mural.

Quimby said her favorite aspect of the mural process was creating her “original drawing and coming up with the idea and deciding on what colors to use.”

And when asked how she felt when she learned her painting had been chosen, she said, “I was excited and very surprised.”

In preparing the wall for the mural, Gordon said, Harris primed the wall and let it sit for two weeks before he came in and did the “base coat” of the drawing.

“And then he brought in the students, not just Audrie, to help,” she said.

Now a wall of the school is swathed not only in color but also with a message that will help instill confidence in the students who attend Bovina Elementary School — home of the Bovina Giants.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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