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Corvallis art class paints Philomath farm truck

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Mushrooms were growing out of the doors and an elk ended up plastered on the hood, but all that was a good thing Thursday morning at Linus Pauling Middle School.

Students from Claudia Hall’s art class spent their class period outdoors with an unusual canvas for their advanced art project — a flatbed truck courtesy of Gathering Together Farm.  

“I personally really enjoy it,” said Anaken Garinger after the eighth-grader completed an owl to hover over the elk on the hood. “We get to go paint a truck. It’s something new.”

“This is actually the fourth truck that Linus Pauling Middle School has painted,” Hall said. “They are hard-working trucks at the farm but they've been uplifted with the art that my students create.”

Halfway through the period, dragonflies decorated the fenders, a salamander graced the hood and a school of fish flowed below the driver's side window. 

“I’ve never done something like this before,” Garinger said. “Personally I'm not very artistic, but this is a nice way to kind of blend stuff together. Not everyone is focusing on your piece. It's about everyone’s stuff.” 

Hall, who has been teaching at the middle school for 11 years, worked at Gathering Together Farm shortly after the organic farm took roots along the banks of the Marys River some 30 years ago. 

“I worked there in the early years,” Hall said. “I have a strong connection.”

Gathering Together Farm, located on Grange Hall Road west of Philomath, provides organic produce to farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants throughout the valley. 

“We decided to use the Marys River in addition to the farm,” Hall said. “That’s why the choices are dragonflies, blue herons, snakes, and raccoons.”

The students used Rust-Oleum paint paid for by classroom funds, Hall said. “They are a little more permanent than using school paint, so it's worth every penny,” she added.

As the project neared completion a rendition of the Marys River flowed from the hood, along the passenger side of the door passing artist drawn trees, a raccoon, snails and a trillium. The 30 students started the project on Wednesday and hopes were to finish it before the rain hit this weekend. 

“We can have all of our creative ideas and put them all into one project,” said Tree Brown, and eighth-grader whose contribution to the project included painting the Gathering Together logo on the hood. “It’s really special for kids to be able to put something that they like and want to do into a big masterpiece.” 

“If they care about art, and they care about what they do, that just gives me hope for our future,” Hall said. 

Contact Photo Editor Mark Ylen at 541-812-6117

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