Affiliation: Box Elder High School
Artist(s): Juliet MacDonald
Description / Inspiration: I hope this piece, when it’s displayed in our school and community, will spark a conversation about how negatively drugs can impact the lives of young people and families, and on the contrary, how beautiful life can be without the influence of drugs.
I believe art is putting creative ideas from your head into the physical world. For example, I think of original characters and stories in my head, and I put them on paper then they take on a life of their own. One day, in fact, I plan to design a graphic novel. The first time I remember creating a piece that I felt proud of was in sixth grade. I created a monster-like character using my iPad, and when I completed the finished product, I felt… The concept of “the monster” has been something I’ve worked with in many of my pieces.
Using that theme, I started making the piece I’ve designed for Paint the State after my art teacher, Mrs. Elliott, my classmates, and I started discussing the impacts drugs have had in our community. I like to think of a normal person, someone who is not doing drugs, as a healthy tree—someone who is blooming and thriving. But when someone’s using drugs, there’s a monstrous effect. It can make someone rotten.
Art is a way to tell a story. I like making original characters, so I like drawing to fill out their stories. When I look at my original work, I kind of see sibling trees. That are connected to each other. Maybe they were close to each other and healthy together, but at one point, one sibling made decisions that led to rot and monstrosity. But they’re still connected. If you have a personal connection to someone who has drug problems, you take on responsibility to help them through it.
I created this work using Procreate and then the file was sent to be digitally printed onto the banner material that is displayed now.
Location: Work is located on the playground fence at Box Elder School, 205 Main St, Box Elder, MT 59521 View on map
Thank Yous: I would like to thank Box Elder School for letting us put the banner in front of the school. AJ Butler and Autumn Elliot for constructing the frame and installation Also Bill The Boy, Huck SunChild, Anfernee Standing Rock and many others that helped install this large work.