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EHS senior shares mural with district

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By Kelly Cantrall

Collin Batson is leaving his mark on Elizabethtown Independent Schools.

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A senior at Elizabethtown High School, Batson created a mural at the Elizabethtown Alternative Center, and now is working on a project in the cafeteria at Panther Academy. His love of visual arts led to acceptance into the Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University in Louisville.

Batson spent last semester at the alternative center and acquired credits necessary for graduation shortly before winter break.

Teachers Tabitha Kerr and Brad Todd, having noticed Batson’s artwork, asked him to take on projects at the school. Batson painted Kerr’s door, and then began the ambitious job of painting a solar system in Todd’s classroom.

Batson mostly draws in pencil, specifically portraits, so creating a mural was new.

“That was my first time really ever painting,” he said.

Batson said he thought the project sounded cool and the teachers always were supportive of his talent.

“They kept on motivating me,” he said.

Batson finished the mural in three days, first outlining the planets in pencil and then painting them. He said working on the detail and lighting of each planet was the biggest challenge. Todd and Kerr had to help him select the correct colors because Batson is colorblind, he said, chuckling.

Batson always enjoys drawing, but he realized as a child he had talent when he was enrolled in private art classes and exceeded his teacher’s expectations, he said.

He first learned about the Kentucky School of Art through a family member. Visiting the campus with an art class at Elizabethtown High School made a big impression.

“I really started to like it, so I applied,” he said.

Batson recently learned he was accepted into the program, and he will submita portfolio of his work for review in April. He’s considering including a photo of the mural. He plans to study visual arts and graphic design.

Batson now is painting Panther paws on the cafeteria walls at Panther Academy using a stamp he carved from a sponge. He said he might paint a mural at that school as well.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.