It’s graduation time for Spokane area schools. But with in person events such as graduation ceremonies and prom cancelled, the community is finding new ways to celebrate this year.
Driving past Comstock Park on Spokane’s South Hill, you might see a colorful and eye catching design woven into the chain link fence along West 29th Avenue. It’s an art installation conceived by Spokane Arts Commissioner Katie Patterson Larson.
“The idea was to celebrate the 2020 graduates in a way that they could come and see something as they drive by or come for a quick photo op with their families. So we used flagging tape, and then wrapped it on the chain link to make a weaving kind of like a big mural.”
The image is a large, yellow rising sun flanked by blue mountains and pine trees. It’s based on a design by local clothing company, The Great PNW, and part of a region-wide effort called “The Class of 2020.”
Sponsored by Spokane Public Schools, Spokane Arts, STCU, the Spokane Parks Department, Spokane Community Colleges, and several other local organizations, “The Class of 2020” will blanket Spokane and surrounding areas with this uplifting and celebratory image.
The rising sun has been applied to signal boxes in Riverfront and Franklin parks, on downtown skywalks and banners and on billboards throughout the city. And in addition to the fence along Comstock Park, there is another colorful weaving on a fence along East Alki Avenue at North Pines Middle School in the Spokane Valley.
On top of these visual displays, local television stations will also air celebratory messages from regional celebrities throughout the month of June.
Katie Patterson Larson says it’s all part of celebrating those local graduates.
“Yeah, we’re hoping that people see it and they feel celebrated and honored that they’re being appreciated for their accomplishments.”
Organizers are encouraging the use of #SpokaneClassof2020 on social media to share photos of the art installations and other messages of hope and inspiration for the graduating class.
You can find the full list of community partners and Class of 2020 projects at Spokane2020.com
For Spokane Public Radio, I’m Chris Maccini.