This painting is inspired by the teachings of Australian Aboriginal culture and the stories of the famous Rainbow Snake who made the rivers throughout Australia. It teaches us to care for our country and our water. Here Rainbow Snake is our special North Platte River, which runs through our community of Casper and is the source of our water.
Rainbow in our painting has a Dragon’s head, which is the mascot for our school Cresthill Elementary. Our Rainbow Dragon contains 3 major trails, which brought thousands of settlers through this land following the river. The main trail is the purple middle, which represents the Oregon Trail. The blue dots inside represent the backbone of the Dragon and also our river.
The top trail is black with yellow dots, which represents the California Trail; the yellow dots represent all the people who were seeking a fortune during the gold rushes. The bottom trail is black with white dots representing the Mormon Trail. The white dots represent all the people who were seeking religious freedom and new land.
The 2 teepees honor the 2 major American Indian nations in Wyoming, the Shoshone and Arapahoe, and all Indian peoples who first drank from the river before the settlers arrived.
The spikes of the Dragon Rainbow represent our beautiful mountains, which capture the snow and rain and help to fill our river each year.
The creamy white border around our Dragon represents the clouds that bring our rain and snow and our life giving water.
The earth red outline represents the blood of the earth, our land, and the color you see at Red Buttes and throughout Wyoming.
The flames around the mouth of the Dragon Rainbow represent fire and the recent Casper Mt. fire. This reminds us to take proper care of our fires and always put out fires when we leave our campsites. The little white dots around the mouth of the Dragon Rainbow represents the smoke from the fires, the mist that we often see on Casper Mt. and the also the famous Wyoming wind.
You can see Ft. Casper in our mural in honor of the original settlement here and Caspar Collins whom Casper was named after.
You will see a dinosaur footprint in honor of all the dinosaurs that walked this land well before any humans were here.
Look closely and you will see fossilized leaves. Wyoming is an ancient land full of fossils and a great place to study science.
Look again and you will see Alcova lake, a favorite place to go fishing and swimming and having fun. This also represents the billabong in Aboriginal culture and reminds us to always share the water, don’t be greedy with the water.
The hand stencils around the edges are all the Cresthill 4th and 5th graders who painted our mural. It was designed by Mrs. Hume together with artist in residence Paul Taylor. Special thanks to NCSD Discover Program who sponsored this residency, to Mrs. Rapp and the teachers and especially Mrs. White who was very gracious to lend us her library to paint.