Jan. 4, 2018 ~ Briarwood Elementary fifth-graders find themselves in quite a conundrum this winter. They can hope for a lot of snow and a day off school. Or they can hope for a mild winter so that their artistic painting of city snow plows remains intact.
“I didn’t poll the students officially, but the feeling I get is that they are hoping for a lot of snow so the plows can be out on the streets for people in the community to see,” said Tabbatha Householder, art teacher at Briarwood.
Painting on a curved, steel surface is a unique experience for her students, but one they thoroughly enjoyed.
“They had fun painting on such an unusual surface,” she said. “We have never done something like this at Briarwood, so it is all new to me.”
Householder was approached by a Briarwood parent who works for the City of Olathe and offered this hands-on learning experience to her fifth-graders.
Five snow plows were primed with white paint before her students arrived at the city’s Public Works facility. The blank “canvas” would soon be covered with creative designs featuring Briarwood’s school colors, snow themes and each artist’s name. Students collaborated in art class to come up with a drawing that would fit on the plows and represent each student on the team.
One boy said the plows were much larger than he had expected. They started by stenciling their drawing onto the white blades. One team went with a “snow busters” approach with a huge snow flake in the center. The Briarwood bear mascot was also popular in the finished designs.
“The paintings were done with acrylic paints and a clear-coat sealer so we hope this will preserve the paintings for the entire winter season, even if they are plowing,” Householder said.