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Elementary-student designed mural at northwest Arkansas nature center

BY Randy Zellers

ON 11-12-2020


Nov. 12, 2020

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

SPRINGDALE – Art Feeds and T.G. Smith Elementary, in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will unveil a special mural at the newly constructed J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highlands Nature Center in Springdale at 1 p.m. November 13.

The mural featuring drawings of plants and animals of the Ozarks and created by 600 T.G. Smith Elementary students will be revealed on a special live Facebook feed at the Art Feeds Facebook Page as well as the nature center’s Facebook Page.

In spring 2020, a partnership between the school, Art Feeds and the AGFC was created to produce a student-designed mural. Art Feeds Community Assist program offered training, curriculum, art supplies, mural materials and mural partnership through T.G. Smith Art Teacher Susan Jones. More than 600 elementary students walked through the steps of mural-making during four art lessons. Art Feeds then designed one cohesive mural from the student’s drawings with a theme of Nature in the Ozarks.

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Fifty of the elementary students and staff who worked on the mural will be on-hand at a private reveal ceremony, which will be live-streamed for parents and the remaining students at T.G. Smith Elementary to enjoy.

“This partnership is a prime example of the amazing welcome the AGFC has received in northwest Arkansas,” Chris Colclasure, AGFC deputy director, said. “We are excited to continue working with young creative minds in this area of the state to increase awareness of how our natural resources influence us all.”

Kim Simco, T.G. Smith principal, said the project is special to her students, as both learning and nature are integral parts of students’ lives.  

“The partnership with Art Feeds has provided our students with the opportunity to highlight their creativity in the mural while contributing to our local community,” Simco said. “T. G. Smith Elementary School is honored to be represented at the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Ozark Highlands Nature Center.  This remarkable facility will positively impact students and their families in Northwest Arkansas and we are blessed to be a part of it.”          

The public mural is approximately 7 feet x 14 feet in size and is made of aluminum. Each student’s drawings were given to a graphic designer to create one design in reflection of the student’s drawings and ideas. A mini mural (4 feet x 7 feet in size) of the design will be installed in the hallway of T.G. Smith Elementary for students, staff and parents to enjoy.

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This is Art Feeds’ 44th mural and the 14th in the northwest Arkansas area, this mural was generously funded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Dr. and Mrs. James Laurence Jones and a Walmart Foundation Grant to Art Feeds.

Visit for more information about this Fayetteville-based non-profit organization created to foster creativity and the arts in children. 

Visit to learn more about the Ozark Highlands Nature Center and its progress.

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