Students paint the town

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

The pixie-stix just weren’t coming out right.

Meagan Guthrie and Lettia Owens were layering pink and blue paints inside long hand-drawn tubes, but it didn’t look like it supposed to.

The girls, huddled in a corner of the BB&T bank, reached for their paper towels, squirted water on the design and started over.

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These two Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School students were just a couple of the more than 50 Suffolk Public Schools students who were participating in the annual holiday window painting that has taken place in downtown Suffolk for the past eight years.

The event, sponsored by the Downtown Business Association in partnership with Suffolk Public Schools, features art students from all school levels painting the windows of local businesses in time for the holiday parade.

The students get to create their designs for the windows, and they are accompanied by art teachers and chaperones to help make the designs come to life. From 9 a.m. to noon, the students worked at their assigned buildings. Then they were treated to lunch at the Workforce Development Center.

For Guthrie and Owens, their dream of creating a Candy Land in the bank was becoming a difficult task.

At 10 a.m., the gingerbread man walking on the pixie-stix stilts around the candy-corn rollercoaster was still in just the primary stages. Eventually, though, the girls layered their paints perfectly, and then they painted the majority of the stilts in white.

Owens said the chance to paint downtown fulfilled a long-time dream of hers.

“I was delighted,” she said. “I love to paint for people and draw for people. I’ve always wanted to paint or draw on a building, and here’s my chance.”

Her partner for the day, Guthrie, said she was more excited about another of the perks that came with being selected.

“I get to miss school,” she said.

To see the students’ handiwork, stop by the Suffolk News-Herald, The Virginian-Pilot, Sun Trust, Suffolk Red Cross, BB&T, Wachovia, Bank of America, Baron’s Pub, the Chamber of Commerce or Pisces Restaurant buildings.