Patrick Robinson
This super long mural on the north wall of Saar's Super Saver contains 8 figures with each one representing a person from the different cultures and/or ethnic backgrounds in the community. From left are store Manager Ron Bond, White Center Chamber of Commerce President Mark Ufkes, students Kateah Nims, Art Club President Robert McIntyre, Binh Hoang, Advisor Amanda Schmidt, Tzer Hang, and Kia Hang.

UPDATE: Largest mural in White Center dedicated by student artists

Students from Evergreen Campus near White Center created the art

As the West Seattle Herald reported this past spring students from White Center's Evergreen campus, comprising three local high schools, began painting a giant mural on the north wall of the new Super Savers Market (formally the Albertson's store, located on 16th Ave. SW and SW 106th Ave in White Center).

That mural (92 feet long) was dedicated Oct. 2 by most of the students involved in its creation and their advisor.

Designed by Evergreen Art Club students, and funded by the White Center Chamber of Commerce, the mural was approved by Greg Saars, new White Center business owner who had just opened the Super Saver Market here. Half of the mural was completed at the end of the school year in mid-June. When Evergreen students returned to school this past September, work began again.

This Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 3 pm, the students and the Chamber will host a celebration of the completion of the almost 100 foot long mural.

It is estimated that over 200 hours of high school student volunteer time was spent designing and painting the mural. The mural emphasizes the cultural diversity of White Center, and the diversity of our Evergreen campus and promotes the ethnic foods that have made White Center famous. It is the largest, all volunteer, mural painted in White Center and covers a long wall that historically is tagged multiple times each year. This is the 17th White Center mural in the past year, sponsored by the White Center Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the White Center Community Development Association (CDA). Most murals are located in graffiti prone locations. Our goal is to have 25 White Center murals completed by 2013, as part of our walking tour of White Center (see VisitWhiteCenter.com).

Art Club President Robert McIntyre a senior said, "At first it was a lot of fun but then it became crunch time so that was a bit stressful then once we started up again we did it because we wanted to. I probably would have helped plan it better. After every piece of work I always feel like there was something else that could be done."

"It was one of those things that had a lot of bumps along the way," said Advisor Amanda Schmidt," but we learned so much. We learned how much the community really does love it because people would stop every day and talk with us. I thought of this as a commmunity thing in terms of the finished mural but I hadn't thought of it as the process. For example the Indian lady has long hair because this lady came by and said, 'She culturally should have long hair,' so that was cool."

Schmidt explained that the biggest challenge was learning to "paint so big. None of them had ever done anything so giant before. I learned to paint big too and how to paint on a ladder." She thanked Chamber President Mark Ufkes for kindly letting his truck be used as a painting platform too. "Working here and trying to bring people over was challenging, but I also feel like it was truly exciting the way we were able to represent all the different ethnicities. I love that the kids came up with that idea."

In a press release the Chamber said, "The White Center Chamber of Commerce and our White Center CDA want to thank Evergreen Art teacher and club adviser Amanda Schmidt and Evergreen student adviser Ray Zombro for their commitment to this huge project, and acknowledge the willing support from Greg Saars and his new Super Saver Saars Market in White Center. This project is a creation of a group of highly talented Evergreen art students as a way to celebrate the rich diversity that has made White Center a wonderful place to live."

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