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.
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