Painting the Town Green, Naturally


Ian Lattimer

The Naturally Green mural located in the school cafeteria.

Members of Cam High’s environment-oriented club, Naturally Green, recently painted a mural in the school cafeteria with the intent to beautify the area while also raising awareness about nature.

Ms. Tawney Safran, adviser of Naturally Green and AP European History teacher, proposed the idea to her students after she received multiple grants. “I’m trying to find ways as an adviser to tap into everybody’s strength and we have students who are amazing artists, writers, and creators of all different abilities and degrees,” said Safran.

The first mural was primarily designed by seniors Emma Griffis and Jessica Gomez. Students have been working on the mural for almost two years as the club had to agree on the design and receive permission from Cam High’s administration before beginning to paint. The first of the two murals is 50 inches by 70 inches and depicts a beach scene with a fruit basket with two birds perched on top.

Griffis said, “We decided that since we wanted to paint in the cafeteria it should have something to do with food and since a lot of people think about Camarillo it differentiates it from a lot of other places we think about our beach and how we are so close to the ocean, so we wanted to do something with the beach. [Thus], we combined that with our desire to show off healthy eating.”

The Naturally Green staff spent three to four weeks during the summer finishing the first mural. In Aug., a group of about ten people began painting. “They would be in the cafeteria two to three times a week for three hours at a time painting the mural and they finished the day before school started this year,” said Griffis.

The club plans to make the second mural larger than the first, but Griffis is concerned with the amount of time it will take. “When we are in a production stage we try to be working on it at least once a week, but since we plan to be working on it during the school year, we won’t be in there as often. So when we are in deep production we are going to want to be in there at least once a week for three hours at a time,” she said.

The second mural’s design was senior Alyson Lucas’s idea: two hands holding a pool of honey, dripping down onto the earth decorated with flowers and bees.

“The artists I’m working with keep changing and evolving because art always does that and so it’s really hard for me to tell them, ‘Stop, what you have is amazing.’ As they are evolving and getting older they keep wanting to change it so it’s an on-going project” said Safran.

Griffis is also planning on making another mural with the theme being the power of water. “That probably won’t happen by the time I finish high school so we will just have a team that keeps growing. It won’t just die out once we go to college so that would be something for future members to work on,” said Griffis.