Kent-Meridian High School students Kaalid Arare, left, and Mohammed Shire worked with artist and volunteer Joe Lavely, middle, on the foundation for Maybelline the dragon, a public art project inspired by the popular series, ‘Game of Thrones.” The dragon will be a special guest at the President’s Gala Business Leadership Excellence Awards presented by the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Republic Services on May 18 at the ShoWare Center. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Kent-Meridian High School students Kaalid Arare, left, and Mohammed Shire worked with artist and volunteer Joe Lavely, middle, on the foundation for Maybelline the dragon, a public art project inspired by the popular series, ‘Game of Thrones.” The dragon will be a special guest at the President’s Gala Business Leadership Excellence Awards presented by the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Republic Services on May 18 at the ShoWare Center. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Meet Maybelline, a special guest

Kent-Meridian art students create a dragon befitting the chamber’s ‘Game of Thrones’ gala

Maybelline is ready to party.

The mythical monster – a challenging public art project made by the creative hands and minds of Kent-Meridian High School students and instructors – stretches more than 6½ feet from nose to tail with a wing span of about 6 feet, 2 inches.

When fully assembled and painted, the reptile will swoop in and hang from the catwalk at the accesso ShoWare Center on Friday, May 18, fitting the evening’s theme, Hear Me Roar, for the “Game of Thrones” President’s Gala & Business Leadership Excellence Awards presented by the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Republic Services.

The program runs from 5 to 10 p.m. at the center, 625 W. James St., and includes a champagne welcome, live and silent auctions, dinner, a dessert dash, games and presentation of awards.

Maybelline received a special invitation, and students in Karen Sandy’s art class were eager to assemble and get her ready.

“It’s a real communal effort,” Sandy said. “I’m real happy with it.”

Looking for a way to promote art in school, the chamber approached Kent-Meridian Principal Wade Barringer and Sandy about the project. The chamber chipped in, paying for all the supplies to make the dragon, giving a donation to the art class for future projects and inviting students and faculty who were part of the project to the gala.

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Karen’s art class at K-M,” said Andrea Keikkala, CEO of the Kent Chamber. “This is a win-win for us as they are providing an awesome piece of art and a focal piece for our president’s gala. … The dragon is significant for our event due to our ‘Game of Thrones’ theme. If you have seen the show then you understand why we would have to have a dragon to pull this theme off.

“We could not be happier with the innovative and fun way they put her together. We are super excited to showcase Maybelline at our president’s gala.”

Students came up with the look, and Joe Lavely, Sandy’s husband, helped construct the reptile’s cardboard skeleton, providing a strong base that’s wrapped in cellophane and paper mache. Students were busy last week working on Maybelline’s color, tones and textures, which, of course, allows for the dragon’s familiar scales.

Kaalid Arare and Mohammed Shire, freshmen from Somali, spent a great deal of time on the project.

“The kids kept adding to it. They know the ‘Game of Thrones’ better than I do,” said Lavely, an artist and painter by trade who along with Sandy studied and taught abroad for several years before coming to K-M.

Hannah Foster, a sophomore, enjoyed being a part of the group effort.

“It was fun, interesting,” she said, “and it’s really cool.”

For more information or to be a part of the gala, visit kentchamber.com.

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