Educators inspire, guide, enlighten and motivate.
Two local teachers will be using those talents, and a flare for art, to spread the word on the importance of protecting this community’s rivers.
Hickory Creek kindergarten teacher Mary Wanamaker and school system art teacher Brandie Mansfield, who alternates between Morrison, Eastside, Dibrell and Centertown, have won the city’s Storm Drain Art Contest offered by McMinnville Community Development Department in partnership with Main Street McMinnville.
The theme of the contest is protecting and conserving water. Among the prizes, the two winners will be allowed to construct their masterpieces on Morford Street.
“I am honored to be chosen for this project,” said Mansfield. “It is exciting to be able to add some of my artwork literally on my hometown streets. Thank you so much to the sponsors and organizers for supporting the arts.”
Wanamaker stated, “I’m very honored and excited to be chosen to paint a piece of my work for so many to see, especially for a cause as important as keeping our rivers and lakes healthy.”
Mansfield, who has been drawing and painting her entire life, drew inspiration from her son.
“Art is not something I do every once in a while. It is always woven into my life,” said Mansfield. “My son has recently become interested in fishing, so I chose to focus on Tennessee rivers and aquatic life,” she said. “I used the Tennessee State Fish, the largemouth bass, along with some flowing water and the silhouette of trees. To me, that represents the beauty and uniqueness of the Tennessee landscape.”
Wanamaker recently discovered a love for art.
“I’ve always been creative and crafty, but I started really getting into painting/ drawing about three years ago when I decided to draw a portrait of the home we had just bought for the original owner. I got some really positive feedback and that’s when I began trying to hone the skill. I now take orders pretty regularly for custom home portraits.”
The kindergarten teacher describes her main style as, “folk art, with specific inspiration from Scandinavian folk art techniques. That was the style I used for the storm drain submission, using lots of colors and patterns wherever I could.”
The two will have 30 days to construct their masterpieces for all to see. Selected locations are the storm drains located at the intersection of Spring and Morford streets – one in front of the old Warren County Furniture and one in front of Pure Oil which is now home to Pure Wealth Partners.