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July 3, 2012

Exchange student's mural seeks to inspire gym members

LOGANSPORT — An owner at Anytime Fitness in Logansport just wanted a painted wall for a new challenge at the center. But when she asked 18-year-old art student Mégane Butin to paint that mural, Butin took the idea and ran with it.

The mural she painted shows a beach scene viewed through a hole in an old stone wall, symbolism intended to motivate gym members in taking on the fitness center’s most difficult challenge.

Gym co-owner Laura Raimondi said the trainer who came up with the challenge wanted a wall where members who completed it could write their names.

The workout combined a total of 15 cardio and strength exercises, so the wall idea was meant to motivate the gym’s members to beat the challenge.

“We already had a wall,” she said. “We could have just drawn an empty box.”

Raimondi decided, instead, to have an art student paint a simple mural onto a portion of the concrete-block wall. She called high school art teachers for recommendations, and one of them, a Century Career Center graphic design instructor, recommended Butin.

“She was probably by far our best fine arts student, illustrator,” said Amanda Kramer, who has taught graphic design, commercial arts and digital photography at the career center since 2004. She was especially impressed by Butin’s sense of color and how rapidly she finished projects.

Raimondi “was saying it was going to be very basic,” Kramer said. “In my head, I was thinking, she could go a long way with it.”

Kramer connected Raimondi with Butin just a few days before school ended for the summer.

Butin, an exchange student from Brittany, France, started taking art lessons when she was 8 years old.

“I was very, very young, and I was drawing with my brother, little cartoons and things,” Butin said, “and somebody told my parents I should go to classes. And that’s how everything started.”

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