As the construction and remodeling of Shadle Park High School is coming to completion, three huge mural art panels have been installed on the north-facing wall of the gymnasium.
Made by Oregon-based artist Anne Storrs, the name of the piece is “Highland Fling.”
“I often use a plant that’s native to the area when I do my artwork,” said Storrs. “In this case, that’s the pinecone. But I worked through a lot of ideas before I settled on the design for these panels.”
Storrs usually designs bas relief work, a technique that creates reliefs by etching or sanding away stone or cement, so the final project is an integrated part of the building it’s on.
That method wasn’t possible here because the building was already done.
“They would have had to tear the building down for me to do that,” said Storrs. “It was a big difference for me that I was creating something to be installed on a building.”
The three 7-foot by 7-foot panels are made of water jet cut and powder-coated stainless steel, and the pinecones are bas relief made of high fire ceramic.
Initially, the pieces were to be placed on the Ash Street side of the school.
“About two weeks before I was to do the final presentation, I got an email from the jury foreman saying they would like to change the location,” said Storrs. “I was a bit agitated by that. But when I got to Spokane and saw the new location I agreed it’s great. The art has a good sense of place there.”
The panels can be seen all the way from Wellesley Avenue, and create a visual element as visitors and students walk from the north parking lot toward the school.
“If it had been on Ash, you’d just drive by it really fast in a car,” said Storrs. “This project worked out well.”