Viewers will have maybe 30 seconds, at best, to see the latest artwork created by a group of Orcutt high school students.
Their public canvas will be 16 ceramic tiles that will adorn the underside of the soon-to-be completed Union Valley Parkway overpass extension.
The aim is to have motorists pass beneath the new Highway 101 overcrossing — slated for completion later this year — and see flashes of what being an Orcutt resident means to its youth.
Orcutt Academy arts teacher Dona Kintzi told Noozhawk that 21 of her advanced arts students have been brainstorming ideas for the 50-by-55-inch tile insets since the school year began.
She said the goal is to complete rough sketches in early fall so they can be mirrored onto tiles for installation, likely in March.
“That’ll give us time to collaborate," Kintzi said. "The kids have just worked really hard.”
Students are thinking about the Orcutt culture and what it might mean to the motorists whose attention they hope to grab as they zip by.
Strawberries, a windmill, agriculture equipment and a red-tailed hawk have all made it onto rough paper prototype sketches at Orcutt Academy.
“Art drives culture," Kintzi said. "What is Orcutt? What does the town offer to me? It’s just a great assignment. ”
No text is allowed to grace the tiles, which were secured as an art project with help from the Orcutt Children's Arts Foundation.
Kintzi was happy to report that drivers should see eight tile images at once due to the overpass layout.
She said she was also excited to work with neighboring schools without the added tension of being in a competition against each other, since all the high schools will be contributing and bouncing ideas off each other.
Kintzi said students are in no hurry to rush through the assignment, which should serve as a permanent art project they will be able to one day show their own families.