Manitou seniors work on end of the year art projects


Sadie House

Lindsey Hinshaw (12) and Amelia Hamilton (12) stand in front of their Manitou mural.

Sadie House, Senior Reporter

As the school year is coming to a close, a few Manitou Springs High School seniors have chosen to dedicate the last of their time to leaving behind an artistic legacy. 

An assortment of colorful geometric shapes will soon coat the large SILC Building windows in a prism of light. The unique building has long been a staple of the MSSD14 District and will continue to welcome students for years to come. 

Sami Benge-Kulzer (12) and Emily Waite (12) have been working on making their project a reality for the past few weeks. After multiple years in the Manitou art program, mistakes are no longer a road block, but a vital part of the process. 

“I really like it. It’s engaging, especially when so many of us are just ready to be done,” Benge-Kulzer said. “I’m excited to go to class and do the project.”

Motivation is often in limited supply for seniors, and pursuing art has allowed many to see the school year through to the end with creative purpose. For some, artistic opportunities will go even further in college. 

Lindsey Hinshaw (12) plans to pursue Studio Art at Fort Lewis College. “I kind of started doing art as a hobby, but now I’m trying to experiment with it more on a professional kind of side,” Hinshaw said. “It’s a good outlet.”

Hinshaw has been working on silhouetted wooden cutout, commissioned by a Western Heritage event. The nature of the piece has allowed Hinshaw to better connect with and understand Native culture, especially as it is historic to the Manitou Springs area.

“I wanted to emphasize Native aspects in Western heritage, and the aspect of the landscape,” Hinshaw said. “I’m going to do pronghorn and buffaloes, I’ll have the face of the moon and constellations, plants that have medicinal properties.”

In addition to her cutout, Hinshaw has been collaborating with Amelia Hamilton (12), studying Fine Art at Oregon State University, on a Manitou mural. The pair drew inspiration from the cascading, mountainous view from MSHS. 

“It’s very Van Gogh, very swirly,” Hinshaw said. 

Hinshaw and Hamilton have employed several different techniques in creating their mural. Approaching a piece so large not only changes the scale, but the perspective and approach of the artist. Many factors are in play when executing a piece so expansive, 12 by 7 feet, from layering to minute detail to graphics to specific style.

“We focused on impressionism and that kind of style, not very hyper realistic, just our impression of Manitou,” Hamilton said. 

The completed mural will be hung at the Townhouse Sports Grill, found on Manitou Ave., therefore cementing a radiant and picturesque legacy of the MSHS experience for students of the past, present and future. 

“It’s fun getting to leave something behind,” Hamilton said. “Knowing that something I created will be in Manitou for a while is a cool thought and boosts my creative confidence.”