Big Picture Learning

Spring 2022

Senior Zeke Grubb says that making art has helped him succeed as a student. Grubb attends the Independent Learning Center on the TwispWorks campus. The ILC, as it’s fondly known, is the innovative choice high school for the Methow Valley School District and uses Big Picture Learning, a model in which students are “challenged to pursue their interests by a supportive community of educators, professionals, and family members.”

(Zeke’s Dr. Seuss inspired mural at the ILC)

One interest Grubb pursued with obvious talent? Painting. Grubb is the artist behind three murals inside the ILC building known as The Treehouse. Grubb first completed a “Dr. Seuss landscape” in the basement that features big mountains, lush green pastures, and a whimsical hot air balloon. A small sign in the foreground shares a Dr. Seuss quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” With graduation rapidly approaching, Grubb is trying to see his high school experience in that same light.

Grubb went on to complete a geometric design in an upstairs hallway and to lead more than ten students as they completed a puzzle mural. Participating students each got to paint a piece with the design of their choice, either individually or as teams. Grubb said he chose the puzzle layout because it gave all the disparate pieces a cohesive theme.

When asked what art adds to his life, Grubb said, “I did them [the murals] as what I would do if I was stressed or didn’t want to do math or something like that… it was a vent or an escape to go somewhere and have just me and the wall and the paint… Some days, I was like, I really don’t want to paint, I would rather do math!” It seems Grubb has struck a good balance—one where art motivates his schoolwork and his schoolwork motivates his art.

LOCATION: Independent Learning Center, TwispWorks, 502 S. Glover St, Twisp, WA.