Art instructor tackles mural project

At around 2,000 square feet, the new mural at Meeker Recreation Center is by far the biggest project Meeker High School art teacher Ben Quinn has ever undertaken. He plans to finish the massive underwater scene, located on the north wall of the MRC natatorium, by mid-March.

MEEKER | Ben Quinn, art teacher at Meeker High School, has recently taken on a project at the Meeker Recreation Center to create a mural on the north wall of the natatorium. The mural depicts a giant shipwreck surrounded by the creatures of the ocean. It’s located behind the slide to act as a surprise for the patrons.

Ben Quinn grew up in Meeker and was graduated from MHS in 1999. He studied at Adams State University and received a Master of Arts in art in 2007. Quinn later returned to Meeker with his family and teaches art classes at MHS as well as dual enrollment courses through Colorado Northwestern Community College in addition to completing professional art projects like ERBM’s mural.

Executive Director Sean VonRoenn brought Quinn in and gave him a general idea of what he wanted to see on the wall, Quinn then tweaked in his own ideas to spruce it up. He wants the mural to not be cartoonish or too realistic; he’s aiming for a more colorful and playful angle. Quinn started this project a few months ago, and plans on finishing it around the middle of March. He says that he plans on adding more components to it as the years go by.

During an interview, Quinn stated this is by far the biggest project he has ever done. He’s done smaller murals and set designs for plays before, but nothing ever this expansive. He only works on it about four hours at a time because of how large it is, and because the humidity in the pool makes it hard to be in there too long. Quinn also stated that he would never be able to do any of it without the wonderful people who work at the Rec Center. He would like to thank Chance Walker, Roger Hall, Shelly Rogers and the entire housekeeping crew for being so great. He’s also been able to have some help with the process from some student lifeguards who take his class as well.

“They’re great to work with. I’ve never seen such a dedicated professional group. They make my life easier.”

Ben Quinn first grew interested in art when he was in third grade. At the time he was living on the Illinois/Wisconsin border before he moved to Meeker in the fourth grade. Art teacher Todd Stone first introduced him to the world of art. Andy Goettel helped Quinn develop his passion for art further in high school and pursue a degree.

“I was not an academically strong student and I always seemed to struggle to pay attention in class. Art gave me something to focus all of my energy and effort on. That process of making something brings me joy. I am glad that my students get to see me as a professional artist and educator.”

By ALLIE WILLEY | Special to the Herald Times