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When Spencer County High School teacher Rachel Dunaway asked then-senior Brandi Bleemel to paint a few scenes on some ceiling tiles in her classroom, she knew Bleemel was talented. But how much talent Bleemel possessed surprised even her teacher.
“I knew she was artistic, but not this artistic,” Dunaway said admiring Bleemel’s latest project in her classroom — a mural that encompasses an entire wall.
After being blown away with Bleemel’s abilities on the ceiling tiles, Dunaway turned Bleemel loose on the wall.
Bleemel said she was excited about the opportunity.
“No one has trusted me with a whole wall before,” she said.
Bleemel started by sketching the mural on the wall, but some of her favorite parts were not on the original sketch, with one even resulting from a mistake.
Some paint from a boot Bleemel was working on dripped down the wall. To improvise, Bleemel painted a flower vase and made 3D flowers out of paper to cover up the dripped paint.
Other parts of the mural have 3D aspects as well. The hats of members of a mariachi band extend from the wall, bullfighter’s red cape is made with actual fabric and two women in the mural are “wearing” actual clothes.
Dunaway said a skirt and a dress were already hanging on her wall, so they were incorporated as clothing for the two women — one of whom is holding a bouquet and the other who is swinging at a pinata, which hangs from the ceiling.
Bleemel’s mother, Kim, said her daughter has always had artistic tendencies. As a very young girl, she went so far as to make shoes around her father’s feet with paper or other materials while he sat and watched TV.
Completing the mural took about a week, Bleemel said.
“But she put in a lot of hours during that week,” Dunaway said.
Bleemel graduated from Spencer County High School last month. A former attendee of the Governor’s School for the Arts, Bleemel plans to attend Northern Kentucky University to study graphic design and advertising.