Lutheran High School loves the opportunity to partner with the town of Parker to make an impact on the community and to share the love of Christ through the gifts and talents of the Lutheran High School art students and staff. This is exactly what a group of students, led by LuHi art teacher Mark Hollenbeck, recently did through the Paint Parker initiative. The focus of this ongoing project is the beautifying of Parker’s running and biking trails.
The group of LuHi artists were given a “blank slate” of sorts in the form of a concrete underpass running under Lincoln Ave. just east of Jordan Road. The task was to cover the underpass with an art mural to deter individuals from tagging the area with graffiti. Senior Kent Harris worked with art teacher Mr. Hollenbeck to design the mural and settled on a mural featuring horses. The equine design was chosen to honor the role that horses have played and continue to play in the town of Parker. It also shows those horses running which has a nice tie in to one of the purposes of the trail.
The community has certainly taken notice of the project. The group of students, along with their instructor, have been recognized throughout the south metro community and the greater Denver area. The Parker Chronicle did a feature story on the group, and 7 News even made their way down to the Lincoln Ave. underpass to interview Mr. Hollenbeck for an upcoming report. See the full 7 News feature story below:
The media presence was certainly an honor, but the recognition did not stop there. Officials from the town of Parker came to make a special presentation before chapel to thank this group for their hard work and dedication. The student body was able to hear thanks and gratitude from the Police Chief David King, the police sergeant, members of the city council, representatives from the PACE Center, and even the mayor of the town of Parker. “Citizens have the right to be ordinary. These students did something extraordinary for the town of Parker and for that we are thankful,” shared the mayor. The students received a certificate as well as the recognition and gratitude of a town wanting a better community.
Observers’ reactions to the new mural have been positive as well. As they worked, the artists were able to dialogue with passers-by. Citizens of Parker were grateful, thankful, and overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of the students wanting to make a difference. Members of the LuHi community have been able to view the mural as well, and the general response can be summed by what one onlooker shared, “There are certainly some talented individuals at Lutheran."
Community service is a requirement of all students at Lutheran High, but the focus is certainly different. Students engage in activities like this to help the community but also to share the love of Christ through their gifts and talents. Lutheran High is proud of the students and teacher that took time out of their summer to make an impact right outside the doors of LuHi. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ.