Customers at the Sunrise Grill can enjoy eggs and pancakes while gazing at a glowing country sunrise any time of day, thanks to three Columbia County teens.
Ron and Chris Gurley, owners of the grill in West Town Shopping Center in Martinez, wanted to liven up a broad empty wall in the new restaurant, so they enlisted the help of local artist Carol Kelly Dorn.
"(They) asked one of my students is she would be interested in painting a mural," Dorn said. "She was kind of scared so she came to me. I just thought they did a great job and it was really nice of (them) to take that chance on high school kids."
Dorn enlisted her three best students - Patrick Allison, 18, Carolyn Horne, 17, and Camille Doane, 14 - to collaborate on a mural to fill the blank wall. Because of the restaurant's name, the Gurleys knew they wanted a sunrise.
"They have done a wonderful job," said Chris Gurley. "We just gave it to them. We entrusted them with it. We came in and saw it as just a big blank wall."
The students and Dorn came up with the idea to paint a glowing sunrise peeking over a lush countryside landscape seen through three large picture windows.
Art instructor Carol Kelly Dorn (left) and several of her art students, Patrick Allison, Carolyn Horne, and Camille Doane (not in photo) painted a mural on the wall at Sunrise Grille in West Town Shopping Center.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"It was a collaboration," Carolyn said. "We are really happy with the way it turned out."
Carolyn, who has taken art classes from Dorn for at least seven years, would like to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design and study illustration. Patrick has been with Dorn for nine years, and Camille for several years, too.
"These are my best students, three just top students," Dorn said. "(The Gurleys) paid a lot less than he would on a professional mural painter. I told him, 'You are probably going to get a better than usual mural for much less a price because they are going to be very careful with everything."'
She was right.
"Everybody loves it," Gurley said. "When they were painting, everybody was just staring at it."
The mural was the first for all three, and they learned valuable lessons about working together while spending hours on the work over two weeks, beginning July 4 weekend.
"It was exhausting, very tiring to stand and paint for hours," Patrick said. "It is a big wall."
Carolyn and Patrick got to complete the work by adding their names to it July 25; Camille was out of town.
"It was really fun," Carolyn said. "I want to do some more."
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