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Colorful art coming to Blue River Trail

Karen Mejia, left, and Anastasia Ellison hold up their designs during a reception for the five winning entries on Thursday at The Gallery in downtown Shelbyville. All five designs will be drawn using chalk along theBlue River Trail in the next two weeks.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

The Blue River Trail will become a little more colorful in the next couple of weeks courtesy of local high school students.

Artwork created by five students will be drawn along the trail in the next two weeks after those students won a contest conducted by the Shelby County Active Living Action team. The five students – four from Shelbyville High School and one from Waldron High School – were asked to draw a set of wings that will be drawn using chalk, Liz Oeffinger, a member of the Active Living Action team said.

Shelbyville students Nia Willis, Anastasia Ellison, Lexi Harford and Karen Mejia, and Waldron foreign exchange student Victoria Robledillo Nunez, created the winning entries.

The action team was wanting to find ways to get more people on the trail. Artistic wings are popular in big cities where people take their photos, she said.

“We wanted something that would relate to the younger demographic as well as other people,” she said. “I feel like a lot of the stuff is aimed at the older people to get them out and about, but the younger kids, this gets them out, (with) the social media aspect of this. They can go take a picture with the wings and put it on social media. That also gets them out walking.”

All five high schools were asked to participate and the team received around 10 entries, she said.

There is a possibility that a permanent display will be put up somewhere through a partnership with the Shelbyville Parks Department, although those details are still being worked out. They might use the winning entries, or they could do another contest.

The trail is sectioned off into five sections and each student will have the opportunity to select where they want to create their art. That way, each piece is spread throughout the trail.

“So people have to go walk it to go see them all,” Oeffinger said. “You can’t just get out of your car to go take the picture. You’ve got to walk the extent of the trail to see them all. It gets you moving.”

Ellison said she completed her idea during her Advanced 2-D art class. The incoming senior was inspired by it being summertime.

“Bright colors put me in a good mood, I guess,” she said with a laugh.

Oeffinger said she’s looking to add more color to the trail.

“I think they turned out great,” she said. “They all have so much color so I’m excited to see them on the trail.”