Local student art celebrates Putah Creek salmon

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A salmon-themed mural displayed on the nature trail along Putah Creek showcases artwork from Winters students created in part of a Salmon Festival art competition. The Winters Salmon Festival was inaugurated in 2016 to help celebrate the return of salmon in the lower reaches of Putah Creek. In 2018, students from Waggoner Elementary School, Shirley Rominger Intermediate School, Winters Middle School and Winters High School were invited to submit drawings to help memorialize this festive event and welcome the return of the Chinook salmon to the lower reaches of Putah Creek.  Each school had a theme, this year it was fall, winter, spring and summer salmon. Upon submission of the drawings, the organizing committee selected the winning pieces of artwork, one from each school, that were submitted by Winters students in 2018. The selected drawings would make up the third mural for this event.  “Winners were selected based on their individual drawings, as well as how each individual piece would flow together to complete a single mural piece” explained Carol Scianna, City of Winters Environmental Service Manager.  While no work was submitted from students at WHS, resulting in the loss of the summer section, the salmon festivals organizing committee selected artwork submitted by third grader Raegan Hurst for the fall section, fourth grader Jemima Lanfranco for the winter section and sixth grader Ava Cassidy for the spring section.  Once the winners were selected Diana Samuels, from Solano County Parks, transferred the artwork onto the pieces of tile that would make up the mural. She color coded each square and second and fourth graders painted each individual tile to make up each of the 3-foot by 5-foot panels during their art classes. Once painted, the tiles were baked by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) staff and were prepared to be installed at the Creek Walk, along the nature trail, behind the Winters Community Center. “It does look exactly like my drawing,” said Hurst who is now in fourth grade.  Hurst and Cassidy were both surprised when they were told that their drawings had been selected and were pleased with how the mural was created. “It’s cool to see my artwork displayed on tile and it will be cool to see when I am older. I like drawing and I really enjoyed this project. At first I was kind of worried because I got called to the office, but when I got there I saw a person dressed up like a salmon and then they told me that I won. I got to take a picture with the salmon and they gave me a t-shirt,” explained Cassidy seeing her drawing on the mural for the first time.  The artwork that Cassidy, Hurst and Lanfranco submitted is a wonderful reminder of the hard work and effort that has gone into the annual removal of the Los Rios check dam flashboards, increased flows from the Putah Diversion Dam, and enhancement of the riparian and spawning areas within Putah Creek.]]>

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