Thanks to a visionary art instructor and a talented student painter, the colorful mural adorning the walls of the Rolla Children's Library is just about finished.
It took four years for Missouri University of Science and Technology art instructor Luce Myers to finalize plans with the library on a full-scale children's theme mural in the library. The plans were agreed upon this past summer.
"I was thrilled," said Myers. "I have always been interested in art in the community and bridging that gap between campus and community."
Over the summer in her art in the community class, Myers found an artist for the project, Lara Edwards, an S&T biological science major. Edwards, and another student who has since moved away from the area, has been trying to fit painting on the project in between her full load of classes.
"I usually come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do some work on it," Edwards told the Daily News. "It has been a lot of fun and a learning process as well. I have done some smaller murals through my church in the past but this is the biggest project I have tackled by far."
The colorful painting contains a jungle scene, an underwater vista as well as an outer space design. She says she gets great reaction from her audience — kids who will pull up a chair and watch her work.
"I love the reaction of the kids," Edwards said with a smile. "They watch me paint and the bolder ones will give me suggestions or ask questions."
Edwards, who will graduate in May of 2014, describes herself as a self-taught artist since she was a youngster. The Rolla native shared that she cannot remember a semester in high school or at S&T where she has not taken some art course. She enjoys traditional pencil drawing and painting.
As if she doesn't have enough going on, she is putting the finishing touches on a 32-page full-size comic book due out soon.
"It is about the adventures of a baby cheetah," she said.
Edwards hopes to have the mural finished by the end of this semester but noted that art cannot be rushed.