From left, students Sarah Biccum, Nikki Swiderski, and Cailey Pokrzywa create a new chalk mural in Schuss Bar.
Sussex Tech Commercial Art teacher Amanda Hoppe touches up the Schuss mural, with the red Snow Cat in the background.
Chalk and pastel chalk which the students used for the new mural.
By Vera Olinski
VERNON — Eva Bonner, Mountain Ceek Resort brand development manager, said she and the resort wanted to give back.
Thus, three Sussex County Technical School Commercial Art students: Sarah Biccum, Nikki Swiderski, and Cailey Pokrzywa began creating an enormous chalk mural in the Mountain Creek “Schuss” Bar.
While helping “Food and Beverage,” Bonner looked at the gigantic black board – 7 feet high by 28 feet wide - in “Schuss” and decided, “This is really boring...I'm going to change it.”
Bonner then told Commercial Art Program teacher Amanda Hoppe, the Sussex Tech art program kick started Bonner's career, getting her where she needed to be. Bonner added, “We need to do something with your art students.”
Bonner and Hoppe both graduated from the Sussex Tech art program before starting their careers.
Hoppe added they had already discussed giving her students real world experience in February, Career and Technical Education Month.
Bonner also said she had wanted the students to know what life will be like after graduating from high school: deadlines, clients, and meeting expectations. She added, “I wanted it to be really real.”
The project definitely helped the students grow, Hoppe said, as they dealt with clients, supplies, planning, and research - it was not just doing something in a classroom.
Artistically, Hoppe continued, most of the students are painters, so working with chalk was a new experience.
Swiderski explained, they used chalk pastels, more pigmented; and the color is brighter than normal.
The main theme of the mural, Hoppe said, is to showcase everything the mountain has to offer, including “Après-ski,” or activities guests enjoy after a day on the mountain. She further said, the mural shows the mountain is not just skiing, but also includes: snow-tubing, zip-line, bands, Trivia Night, Karaoke, Ladies' Night, and Pizza Night.
The students also included: food and drink specials, live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights, the Terrain Park, season pass holders receive a bonus hour: 8–9 a.m., snow boarding, and beautiful sunsets — of which Mountain Creek is well known.
Hoppe said the students researched Snow Cats, the number of mountain peaks, and what zip-lines look like.
Snow Cats are machines used by groomers to prepare the hills each morning.
Pokrzywa worked on the mural characters. She said, she liked the more creative aspect of the characters, because she wants to become an animator.
Biccum said she enjoyed the opportunity to experience a new medium; and the mural is a good portfolio piece.
As the three students continued working on their beautiful landscape, Bonner suddenly exclaimed, “Wow!”
The students had met their “real world” client's expectations; and Bonner said, she is looking forward to more collaborations in the future.