Manchester students display artwork in a ‘uniquely mobile medium’

Sixth-grade students in Ann Giantvalley and Nancy Immel’s class recently painted the blade on a snow plow for Kitsap County Public Works. - Courtesy Photo
Sixth-grade students in Ann Giantvalley and Nancy Immel’s class recently painted the blade on a snow plow for Kitsap County Public Works.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

If Kitsap County roads are covered with snow this winter, the snow blades removing the powder won’t look generic.

Students in Ann Giantvalley and team teacher Nancy Immel’s sixth-grade class at Manchester Elementary were among three schools selected by Kitsap County Public Works to paint the blades on snow plows.

Giantvalley said the process moved quickly because applications were due June 5. Students were provided with 12-by-3-inch sheet of paper — the same size as the blades — to paint images for the blade. Giantvalley said the only requirement was that students must incorporate the word Manchester in their design. Each student then presented the paintings to classmates, who narrowed them down to six finalists and then two in a final vote. Three days later, the class learned that Simeon Wells’ painting, which featured the word Manchester painted in a variety of colors and snowmen over a blue background, was selected by KCPW officials.

“This is a great opportunity for students to display their artwork on a uniquely mobile medium,” KCPW communication manager Doug Bear said in a news release.

The snow plow arrived at Manchester Elementary on June 11 replete with acrylic, water-based paint. Because Wells had the winning design, Giantvalley said he assigned the role of directing the project.

“He’s got good leadership ability,” she said.

That was a challenging task, Giantvalley explained, because the class also simultaneously was preparing for five different plays. During intervals from practicing scenes in the plays, students were sent in groups outside to work on the blade. Despite those challenges, Giantvalley said they finished the project within a day of delivery. She said concerns about the plow being vandalized was the impetus behind the quick turnaround.

Giantvalley said it was a good opportunity for her students because they had taken a field trip May 22 to KCPW, where they learned about de-icer and sign making. Students then were able to get a first-hand perspective on the snow plows used for snow and ice response.

In addition to learning on subjects ranging from art to elections through voting during the project, Giantvalley said the students also benefitted from collaboration and leadership.

“It wasn’t just a contest,” she said. “It’s a good community-building project.”


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