Oakdale art teacher spends year painting church mural

Standard photo/Marisa Patwa

Elyse Rumble with her mural at St. Clement Church in Boonville on Thursday, Aug. 24.

St. Clement Church in Boonville has a new mural that's been a year in the making.

Oakdale Elementary art teacher Elyse Rumble said she started the mural last July and just completed it this August.

Rumble, who actually attends St. Johns in Newburgh, said she was first asked to paint the mural by Katie Vollmer, St. Clement's religious director of education.

The mural outlines several stories from the Bible, including creation, Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Moses with his tablets and his burning bush, Noah's Ark, Daniel in the lion's den, Moses parting the seas, Jonah and the big fish, the nativity scene, Zacchaeus, Jesus and the little children, the last supper, the crucifixion and the resurrection.

Rumble, who majored in early elementary education at the University of Southern Indiana but minored in visual arts, said she never intended on teaching art.

"I really just took art classes; that's why I minored in it," she said. "And then when I student-taught art, I hated it."

And when the opportunity to teach art Oakdale presented itself, she was hesitant to take it at first.

"And now I love it," she said. "I love working in a small town. It's so nice because everyone knows each other."

Rumble said Oakdale feels like a family to her.

see mural/page B4

"We always talk about how blessed we are because everybody just has each other's backs," she said. "And we do all we can for our kids and everyone is bending over backwards for everybody and it's just a great place to work.

Rumble said she was nervous to take on the project because she had never painted a mural before, but she was excited about the opportunity to grow and have a learning experience. She has even used it as a lesson for her students.

"Because even my kids at school tell me, 'I can't do this, blah blah blah,' I use that as an example," she said. "Listen, I am painting this mural and I don't like to do it either and don't know what I'm doing but I am teaching myself how to."

Rumble said her apprehension about the project is one of the reasons it took her so long to complete it.

"I was just afraid," she said. "I had never done anything like this before. But once I actually started doing the people I was like, 'Oh, I can do this. This isn't that bad.' But it was just kind of getting to that point."

And now, she is proud of what she has accomplished.

"I feel really good now that it's done," she said. "I didn't even know I could do work like this."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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