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Waukegan student’s mural work draws a national crowd

GRAYSLAKE Friday Mar 9 2012
Westlake Christian Academy Junior Caroline Jumper stands by painting thwill become part mural inside school. Jumper

GRAYSLAKE Friday Mar 9 2012 Westlake Christian Academy Junior, Caroline Jumper, stands by the painting that will become part of a mural inside of the school. Jumper recently had featured in the Big Screen Plaza in New York City. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 23, 2012 1:51AM

WAUKEGAN — Nobody wanted to step forward and paint a 6-by-8-foot version of the school’s eagle mascot, according to Westlake Christian Academy art teacher Carmen Gilbert.

Several students came forward to help with the rest of the mural, but it was hard finding someone to paint the eagle until junior Caroline Jumper, 16, of Waukegan, stepped up. The eagle is part of a new mural that was commissioned as part of the Grayslake school’s 40th anniversary.

The challenge was in the size, subject and the blending technique necessary to paint it, Gilbert said.

“She’s incredible. I think God has gifted her with amazing talent,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert of Lindenhurst was so impressed with Jumper’s eagle that she submitted it to the National Art Educator Association. The NAEA selected Jumper’s painting to be displayed in New York Times Square earlier this month.

“I’ve been in small, local art contests. This is the biggest by far,” Jumper said. “It was really exciting. I was happy to get my name out there and the school’s.”

Jumper said she had never painted anything as large before the eagle mascot. She worked on it during study halls.

She started painting when she was 7, and plans to study studio art or illustration in college.

“I want to do art for the rest of my life,” Jumper said.

She painted the eagle with acrylic paints. She also uses graphite, ink, watercolors and oil. Her father is a pastor at Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Grayslake.

Jumper used to play basketball, but is now concentrating on her art. She is working on painting a three-part commission work featuring animals.

Her eagle panel is now part of the school’s mural. Anyone who walks into the building can see it.

“It’s really a blessing to me. Everybody can see my work and appreciate it,” Jumper said.

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