Nauvoo Junior High School

Nauvoo Junior High School

Joan Watkins, 2014
Acrylics on Canvas

The artist’ intention was to capture the building in a realistic style against impressionistic nature to give an air of permanence with changing nature around it. The school building remains solid and valuable in the painting as it is in the memory of former students and townspeople. The brick foundation is a tribute to the more modern era while the wooden planks reach back in time and show age and weather-wear as the original fa├žade does on the sides and back of the school.

The baseball in the foreground is evidence of children at play; students that just went indoors from recess to resume their studies. The ball could have been left in the school yard in 1920, 1940 or 1980. It demonstrates the passing of time and like baseball, Nauvoo Junior High School has a timeless place in history.

When looking closely at the painting one will see life through the windows: a row of books sitting on a window sill; a tray of grass seedlings that might have been an experiment in Science class; an American flag in the Civics classroom and a globe in Geography. The window boxes are a tribute to the staff and faculty that invested their lives in this school. They brought not only their talents of teaching and leading, but their colorful personalities to invest in the students that attended Nauvoo Junior High School.
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