They contracted Cera Marie, a Columbus-based artist who specializes in large-scale painting installations and has done two mural backdrops with Project Jericho previously.
Cera Marie created three unique sketches for show director Krissy Hartman to choose from and after one was selected, she blocked it off on the canvas to make the painting process simple and efficient according to Houser.
The painting began on Oct. 1 and each Monday after as part of the Open Studio program. Eleven students painted for a combined 34 hours in October.
“As we’ve been painting, we have received updates on how the costumes and set pieces were coming along. They are all impressive,” Houser said. “Every piece of the show is thoughtful and creative. It’s sure to be a masterpiece from start to finish.”
Susan Kittles studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design, but never made a mask before.
That didn’t stop her artistic instincts when she got an email with a request for help to make masks for “Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.”
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As several of the main actors in the stage productions use the masks, it becomes an important part of telling the story. So Kittles and husband Andy along with another parent went to work making sculptures out of clay, created a plaster cast and painted and embellished the masks with metal attached to a sports helmet.
It became time-consuming, taking seven weeks for the eight main lions’ masks. Simba’s in particular was the largest challenge with his big mane.
The seal of approval came when the cast got the finished products. Colin Carn, who is playing Young Simba, especially liked his.
“I thought only the big kids got masks,” he said, thrilled to mount it on his head.
This type of reaction and now that it’s done has Kittles also feeling satisfied.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it,” she said.
HOW TO GO
What: Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.
Where: John Legend Theater at The Dome, 700 S. Limestone St., Springfield
When: Friday Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $15 adults, $10 students
More info: www.facebook.com/youthartsambassadors/