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Nevada teen is ready to take on ‘her town’

Nevada High School student Paige Plate plans to involve as many members of the community as she can this summer as she puts up a new mural on the side of the Lifetouch building behind her. (Photo by Jonathan Krueger)Buy Photo
Nevada High School student Paige Plate plans to involve as many members of the community as she can this summer as she puts up a new mural on the side of the Lifetouch building behind her. (Photo by Jonathan Krueger)

A Nevada High School student hopes to literally “draw” (and paint) her community together.

Paige Plate, 17, who will be a senior this coming fall, has decided to take on a summer project of creating a new community mural on the side of the Lifetouch building along K Avenue. She’s calling her project, “Painting Our Town.”

“The entire (present) mural will be covered. We will be doing (the new mural) in a more modern style, with different schemes and colors, which would make it impossible to keep any of (the old one). This time we also plan to cover the whole wall,” Plate said.

Building owner Wayne Johnson said he’s not sure of the exact year the present mural —which was a project of the Character Counts group in Nevada —was completed, but he knows it was in the early 2000s. “We’ve seen some graffiti on it through the years,” Johnson said, and he welcomed Plate’s plans to cover the old one, which is at least 10 years old, and create an entirely new mural for the building.

Plate said she’s passionate about art and wanted to use her talents to create something beautiful in the community. She thought creating a new, updated mural was a way to utlize her talents and bring together many members of the community to help with the different project stages.

“I encourage all community members to come help. I want the whole town to feel like they have helped complete it,” she said. Whether you have artistic talent or not, Plate said there are ways for everyone to be involved.

She will first need a crew to wash the wall and prep it. Then when it’s time to paint the new mural, which will be outlined on the wall first, she said “anyone who has the ability to use a brush would just have to fill in the lines.”

Plate decided she would like to pursue this project last year. She then found out about the Herbert Hoover Association, which provides grants. She applied and was selected for the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Award Scholarship. “It (the award) encouraged me to go through with the project,” she said. The scholarship is worth $1,000, but there are guidelines on what that money can be used for, and Plate said she still needs to raise money for supplies and paint.

“I hope to raise about $1,000 or accumulate that (amount) in supplies and paint,” she said. Supplies needed include paint, primer, brushes, plastic to cover the ground, wall clean-up items and scaffolding. Those individuals and businesses who make donations to the project will be recognized on the completed mural.

Plate said she already has a few volunteers to help her, including several local artists and fellow students, but before she can begin, she needs to get donations and scaffolding. “We are in dire need of scaffolding to clean up the wall.”

Plate said her design, which is shown with this story, is “very tentative.” She hopes to have logos of businesses who have helped with the project shown in the blue band at the bottom. “The background will probably be an ombre purple…dark purple on the outer part, fading into a lighter purple in the middle. I also will be adding a thing or two to the right side where there is open space, and there will be a water tower and some wind turbines in the official design.”

Her background with art, Plate said, includes taking a number of art classes and spending much of her free time drawing and designing things. “I have illustrated a children’s book and designed many tattoos for family and friends.” In fact, next year, she hopes to work toward becoming a tattoo artist.

Plate has started a Facebook page, Painting Our Town: Murals, where she is posting information about the mural project that she hopes will soon be off and running and filling her summer days. Anyone who would like to help or donate to the project can contact her by email: or call, 515-402-5160.

Plate hopes to have the mural completed by mid-October, and at that time she wants all who have taken part and others to put their handprints at the bottom of the mural in different colors, representing community members, volunteers and donors.

“My main goal is for everyone to look at the mural and be able to say, ‘We did that.’”