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  • The not-quite-finished painted van.
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  • Words and hand prints begin to make the pink van come to life.
  • Sammi Meyer, a senior at Conifer High School, paints on the van.
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It’s amazing what happens when you put paintbrushes in the hands of young people.

A dozen young people ages 12 to 20 gathered at Center for the Arts Evergreen on Sept. 20 to paint the exterior of a van. The van, donated by Olde’s Garage, was painted pink by Evergreen muralist Chris Krieg, and the students added their own mural art to it.

The van is a way to call attention to a new exhibit at the gallery opening Nov. 7 called “Word: Art Meets Advertising,” and Krieg, who is curating the exhibit, has added “Word” to the side of the van. The van is hard to miss.

The exhibit will explore the intersection of the creative experience and everyday life, according to CAE Marketing Director Sara Miller. It will try to represent artwork that straddles art’s autonomy with art/design that functions in daily life.

On Sept. 20, the painters enthusiastically went to work with gray, white and dark pink paint to paint words expressing everything from “rage” to “love,” “happy” to “busy,” plus “autumn” and more.

Krieg said he chose the colors because of the way they would blend together.

“The colors may not seem spectacular. Your eye will blend the colors from a distance. They’re kind of like Evergreen colors,” Krieg said, asking the painters to visualize the words they wanted on the van.

CAE’s Executive Director Lisa Nierenberg is happy with the partnership between CAE and Resilience 1220.

“We love Resilience 1220. Thank you for being a part of this project,” she told participants. “You are the start to this exhibit.”

Sam McIntosh, 19, painted the word “rage” on the van’s side, saying the word resonated with him because he was enraged by the state of the country. After he completed the word, he painted the palm of his hand to leave a handprint, but Krieg pushed on his hand to smear it.

McIntosh came to the painting event because it seemed like fun to paint a van.

Conner Adams, a junior at Conifer High School, used the back of the van to commemorate the TV show “Scooby-Doo,” painting a spiral and “The Mystery Machine.” Conner explained that she had a difficult childhood but watching “Scooby Do” allowed her an escape.

Conner participated in the event to be with her friends and to have a chance to paint something a bit more unusual.

Ben Miller, an eighth-grader at West Jefferson Middle School, was happy to learn new painting techniques.

“It seemed like it would be fun to do,” Miller said. “It’s a new experience.


“Word: Art Meets Advertising” will be open from Nov. 7 to Dec. 5 at Center for the Arts Evergreen. It kicks off with A Day of the Evening for the Arts, a celebration planned on Nov. 7. For more information, visit www.evergreenarts.org.