Students recreate Grand Canyon with cotton - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Students recreate Grand Canyon with cotton

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Posted: Sunday, October 5, 2003 2:39 am | Updated: 1:14 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

They spent 1,000 hours remaking the Grand Canyon from scratch.

The 330 students at Scottsdale’s Copper Ridge Elementary School spent a month painstakingly melding geology, history and art with cotton and a lot of water.

The result: A 15-by-8-foot earth-tone, cotton-fiber mural titled "Colors of the Canyon" that will hang above the school’s media center.

"Before we started, kids of all ages drew pictures of what they thought it looked like," said local artist Deborah Salac-Ashforth, who led students through the project as part of the artist-inresidence program run by the Arizona Commission for the Arts.

"And we went through and saw how many had thought of water, how many had thought of rock, how many of sky," she said. "We did a composite of pictures I knew of the Grand Canyon and made it look like what they thought the Grand Canyon looks like. It’s sort of fantasy based on fact."

The children made the paper for the mural out of cotton and used natural dye for the picture.

"Each (student) made a small book of practice sheets," she said, recalling the difficulty in training young children to take cotton, grind it with water and press out large sheets of paper for the mural.

Every child who attended the school last year participated, principal Joyce Cook said.

"I am just excited knowing my daughter participated in something so unique," said parent Terrie LoCicero, whose daughter Kaylin is now in first grade.

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