BY TAYLOR DESMOND
Splashes of vibrant greens and deep reddish purples are painted by Carmel High’s art students, capturing the local agricultural aspects for which Monterey County is best known.
Featuring local produce and highlighting the culture of the county, the art classes at Carmel High School will be contributing to a two-panel mural hung outside the newly renovated Lucky’s store in the Carmel Rancho Shopping Center. The mural was an optional assignment given to students who chose to work on it between their actual assignments; contributions to the murals have come from a wide variety of skill sets and class levels.
“In every class there is a small cohort of four or five kids that work on it, and that is the beginning as well as advanced kids,” CHS art teacher Steven Russell says. “It isn’t just for my Advanced Placement students to work on—actually a lot of them have avoided it because they are so knee-deep in their portfolios.”
After working on the pieces for more than a month, art students proudly captured the organic fruits and vegetables sold at the store, the panels displaying everything from heads of lettuce grown in Salinas to various vineyards located in the Carmel Valley.
“Lucky’s actually reached out to me,” Russell says.
The theme was given to Russell by the personal resources department at the local Lucky’s. The idea was centered on highlighting the culture that Monterey County and, more specifically, Carmel embodied.
“We just put out offers to several schools, and CHS was the one who responded,” says Lucky’s manager Alesia Moreno. “It went through our corporate office to them.”
The food items on each of the two panels are separated by how they are prepared: the first being raw materials that the farms in the Salinas Valley produce daily, the second contrasting ultra-green imagery with farm-to-table dishes iconic of the area and shown in common households.
Wine, salads, artichokes, strawberries and prepared dishes placed on chopping boards featuring food from the first panel are a key part of the second image, taking on more orange tones and filled with food all purchasable at the Lucky’s store.
The murals should be put up in the local Lucky’s franchise any day now, showing plentiful produce and staple food items of the Monterey County. Credit goes to Russell and all of his art classes, each contributing to the overall project in one way or another.