Eighteen-year-old Slate Smaby of Becker High School was commissioned several months ago to fill up some white wall space at the Becker Legion buidling. She obliged and since November she has utilized her free time and some of her school time to emblazon a large American Flag on that white wall in what used to be the truck bays for the old fire department.
Smaby, who herself is slated to become a member of the armed forces (National Guard) upon graduation (and a future Legion member too), painted a colossal old glory on the northeast wall of the building, just above the horseshoe pits that local chuckers use for tournaments and weekly competition during the summer months.
Smaby began the mural in November and finished the bulk of the art in late January. She used latex paints over a base coat that is ensured to last for years and years.
Smaby would pick up her paint brush on days she had no school and other times she’d come over after school or arrive during her art class hours with her art teacher, Jo Svaren Eichler. Smaby used scaffolding to reach the high parts of the wall and she said the 50 white stars were the most difficult part because of the preciseness and proportion and the texture of the wall. This was her first mural but she hopes she gets other opportunities as she refines her craft.
“I’ve done some paintings for my dad (Tony), who has some of my artwork in his office,” she said. “I’ve also done some acrylic and watercolor paintings as well as some drawing projects.”
Smaby comes from a family of military heroes and she said she thoroughly enjoyed being around the Legion members while she decorated the Legion wall.
“They made it a lot of fun, always being friendly and making me laugh,” she said. “It’s a good group of people here.”
Smaby’s family consists of her dad, four dogs, one cat and three ferrets.