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BCHS alum creates project to educate locals about at-risk species

A recent Boulder City High School graduate decided to do something different during her summer break.

She founded an art collective to provide awareness and education for Nevada’s at-risk, threatened and endangered species through meaningful mural art and intentional conservation talks.

“It’s a combination of my interests in conservation and environmentalism, and I wanted to share it with the Boulder City community,” said America Grafton, a member of the class of 2020.

Grafton, a student at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, said this project came out of the school’s career program that requires students to find their own “unpaid career activity” for the summer.

“I created my own individual independent project for it,” she said.

Through the collective, Grafton is enlisting the help of fellow artists to paint murals of desert wildlife at participating businesses in Boulder City. Currently, one is being done at the Boulder City Co. Store by artist Sovereign Tindall and Grafton is talking to the Dam Roast House &Browder Bookstore about painting one there. She said she also plans to work with other businesses that are interested.

Grafton is also focusing on including other types of art in the collective.

“The mural idea is the first thing I wanted to do to get started,” she said. “I (also) wanted to have other options for people who didn’t want to paint in the heat. … It’s a big art project and in many different forms.”

She said the art projects can be anything from drawings done with colored pencils to watercolors to sculptures. Artists who want to submit their work can email mojaveartcollective21@gmail.com.

Additionally, Grafton is doing a series of presentations to the community about desert conservation. In July, she did six different talks at the Boulder City Library for children ages 2-13.

“We are proud to have been able to help the Mojave Art Collective’s mission of providing education to our community on topics such as Nevada’s endangered species and conservation studies,” said Kim Diehm, library director. “Having America and her Mojave Art Collective offer programs at the library meant a lot. It was the first in-library programming for kids that has happened in over a year. It brought in several families, who, hopefully, were able to take time and discover fun things at the library while here.”

She has an online workshop planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, July 31, for people ages 14 and older. To participate or for more information, go to: https://www.mojaveartcollective.com/.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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