The Salish Sea Deaf School does an end-of-year group project at the end of each school year that culminates in a “Big Reveal” at their graduation ceremony. This year the students chose to create a group painting. They talked about it, they wrote down ideas, they did preliminary sketches, and they searched the internet for inspiration. The more they sketched and talked together, the more they saw a common thread that connects them. The students wanted to create a painting that would honor this connection to each other and the important place they all feel the school holds in their hearts. The students realized that they all mattered to each other and that their shared experience at the school mattered.
Wanting to incorporate the school’s Orca Whale mascot, the students decided that they would recreate the people of the school as Orca. There are ten students at SSDS, six older students and four elementary students. Each student was given a 10” x 10” canvas to paint – some older students painted two. There were a total of 12 canvases that made up the whole painting. The older students helped the younger students – the “pod” worked together helping, agreeing, and weaving together the creativity of the people who they learned and grew with over the past year.
At the graduation ceremony the “Big Reveal” was a success – the student’s pride in their work lit up the room as they lifted the cover off their masterpiece. Each student stood just a little bit taller as the audience showed their appreciation. Their hard work was rewarded with each student and staff member receiving an archival fine art print of the whole piece. These prints were donated in part by local Anacortes business “How It Works – creative thought and design” and the local non-profit “Pictures That Matter”
Photos By Marius Hibbard