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Central Heights students produce wolf painting on display at Bays Mountain

March 23rd, 2014 10:12 pm by Rick Wagner

Central Heights students produce wolf painting on display at Bays Mountain

Central Heights Elementary School students Emmy Foster, left, Brooke Wheeler, center, and Gage Harkleroad hold a painting that is on permanent display at the Bays Mountain Park Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Amy Archer.

KINGSPORT — How many budding artists does it take to draw a lone wolf in a woodland setting?

The answer is whole classes plus a teacher to inspire and encourage them.

Thanks to the artistic abilities of art teacher Betty O'Neill and her students, a wolf painting from Central Heights Elementary School is on permanent display at the Bays Mountain Park Nature Center.

During the spring semester of the 2012-13 school year, art students at Central Heights were impressed by a painting of a wolf by interim art teacher O'Neill, an already retired educator with more than 50 years in education who recently resigned from the interim position but is a lifelong advocate of art in public schools.

From that came the idea of her drawing a wolf and turning over the canvas to her students, who over a period of weeks in their once-a-week class painted the wolf and the background.

The results were impressive enough for Bays Mountain to accept the painting last month for display, including a plaque explaining its origins.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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