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A WONDER-FULL WALL… A giant mural designed and painted by Chris Frank, former WHS graduate, will delight students at North Elementary School this school year. This is one of two murals at the school painted by Frank.

A wonder-full mural at Watervliet Elementary


Kristy Noack

Students at North Elementary School in Watervliet will notice some very big changes on their wall space when they return to school Tuesday, and it’s going to cause the students to wonder, dream, and achieve. At least that’s the goal of local artist Christopher Frank, a 2006 graduate of Watervliet High School.

Frank has taken two blank, white walls at the school and transformed them into large, colorful, educational murals.

The process got started simply enough. Fifth-grade teacher Heather Metz approached principal Joe Allen and asked if Chris could take the plain walls and create a mural. According to Allen, “I approved whole-heartedly as Heather loves to dress up the walls.”

Metz contacted Frank and “she asked if I’d be interested in painting the hallways,” Frank explains.  “The school was renovated a few years ago, and the walls were pretty plain and boring, so I was excited at the opportunity to do something creative.

“When I first saw the halls, I instantly began thinking of all the different things we could fill the spaces with, so I basically just combined all those into one big mural.”

Allen said, “To date, Chris has done two murals: one with the coordinates of Watervliet and the other is a mix of all the subject areas, notable historic figures, architecture, and our Panther logo.”

Frank advised that the small mural located near the front office is almost seven feet wide. The large  one extends 34 feet wide.

For Frank, his love of art began at a young age. “I’ve always been interested in art – for as long as I can remember. It really started with me drawing Power Rangers and dinosaurs in early elementary school. The other kids would always ask me to draw stuff for them. I just really enjoyed doing anything artistic and creative that got people’s attention.”

AN IMAGE DEVELOPING… Christopher Frank, 30, of St. Joseph draws out part of a mural on a wall at North Elementary School in Watervliet. Frank created two murals at the school and is looking forward to the opportunity to paint more.

Although Frank loved to draw, he didn’t begin taking art classes until he attended middle school. In high school, he had the opportunity to paint a few designs above the gym