Teen twins paint mural on classroom

April 20, 2007 12:00 am
Twin brothers and Navajo Tribe members Holden, left, and Brandon Price, right, inscribe their names on their mural in a Del Norte High School classroom Thursday. (The Daily Triplicate/Thea Skinner).
Twin brothers and Navajo Tribe members Holden, left, and Brandon Price, right, inscribe their names on their mural in a Del Norte High School classroom Thursday. (The Daily Triplicate/Thea Skinner).

By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

Twin brothers have brought vibrant color this spring to Del Norte High School with their life-size spray-paint mural.

Eighteen-year-old Navajo Tribe members Brandon and Holden Price bestowed a Native American mural on their Advanced Placement English teacher's classroom wall.

The twins voluntarily offered to create the mural, which took about 50 hours on weekends and the duration of spring break to complete. Brandon sketched, and Holden assisted him in spray-painting the permanent mural.

"We had been discussing the situation with the Hmong (and the) Patriot Act, and that lead into another discussion of other peoples that have been persecuted," Del Norte High School English teacher Cheryl Bradley, said. "Brandon looked up at the wall and asked if he could paint the mural."

Bradley describes the mural as "dynamic."

The twins attend Jeff Hanck's advanced art classes. This is Holden's third year in art classes.

"I was impressed with it on several levels," Hanck said. "One was their initiative. They spent a whole weekend working on it. Holden is good with airbrush.

"It is original and calls upon their heritage and Native American symbolism."

Although they have similar artistic tastes, the brothers differ in inspiration.

"I was just bored sitting in class," Brandon said.

Holden found inspiration in a relative.

"My grandfather was a sandpainter. One of my earliest memories was of my grandfather sandpainting," Holden said. "I just filled an empty space."

The mural centers on the four natural elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. Brandon used a Navajo blanket design to make the stars in the mural.

In the native community, "everything revolves around art," Brandon said.

The twins spent the first nine years of their lives on a reservation in Window Rock, Ariz. They also lived in Pine Grove and Long Beach before moving to Crescent City.

After the twins graduate in June, they will attend the American Indian Art Institute, curtesy of the Navajo Tribe.

Holden may study writing, and plans to take a creative writing course.

"I want to do something with airbrushing and get more training," he added.

Brandon plans to major in studio arts and "take art to the next level."

"I have random native facts in my head. I think I will take a native law class," Brandon said.

Brandon's Native Nation pencil piece won honorable mention in The Power to Dream Exhibit by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Indian Education.

The same piece was featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and at the Portland Museum of Art.

"Art is intended for the viewer not the artist," Brandon said, referring to Artist Salvador Dali's famous quote.

He submitted an ink and paint piece to Education Without Boundaries, which is a student-led nonprofit organization. The organization provides educational access to marginalized women and children in developing countries.

He also tutored for the Northern California Indian Development Center last summer.

Holden works at Steele Reserve making custom airbrush T-shirts. He has made about 17 T-shirts. They will be on display Sunday at his Earth Arts Festival booth at the Crescent City Cultural Center.

His airbrushing artwork will be displayed at an upcoming concert and he may get a television segment on the local public access channel, which is undergoing a transfer of ownership into the hands of the school district.

Bradley plans to have other students create murals on the classroom's two other walls.

Reach Thea Skinner at

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