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Photo by Caitlin FowlkesSiskiyou School Administrator Aurilia McNamara, left, and artist Livi Gower unveil a new mural on Friday.

The spiral loops back — and out

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where each number is equal to the sum of the two before it. Any two successive numbers create a ratio very close to the golden ratio forming a spiral, which is found in many natural phenomena such as galaxy spirals, hurricanes and flowers.

This idea inspired Livi Gower’s Ashland High School senior project. Gower, a Siskiyou School alumnus, donated a unique Fibonacci sequence mural to the school Friday morning.

Her usual style is portraiture and hyper-realism, but the senior project requires students to step out of their comfort zone, Gower said.

“This piece is quite far away from my normal technique and style,” Gower said. “I’ve done almost every kind of art there is to do and murals is one thing I haven’t done.”

The design is based off of the Fibonacci sequence, which is visualized in the Fibonacci spiral, Gower said. She learned of the concept at the Siskiyou School.

“The Fibonacci spiral and the Fibonacci sequence is the best way that I can explain in a visual way Waldorf education, and especially the Siskiyou School, and how they approach education because the Fibonacci sequence is a visual representation of something very linear,” Gower said. “It takes it and visualizes it in a very creative way and I think that’s a lot of what Waldorf education does. It takes simple and linear ideas and styles of teaching, and approaches it in a more creative way.”

Gower said she’s always been an artist and comes from an artistic home, but the Siskiyou School helped her develop creative techniques at a young age.

“Being here definitely influenced me in an artistic way, making that a priority for me, and supporting that priority for me — whereas some public schools don’t necessarily make art a priority, and here they really do,” Gower said. “And if you really love it, you have the opportunities to explore it.

“The other thing is that you’re given a lot of freedom to really interact with what you’re learning here and the teachers really allow you to be present in lessons,” Gower said. “You’re not being taught at, and it’s really influenced me to be confident in what I’m saying in the classroom setting.”

She used two separate particle boards which she painted with outdoor house paints donated by Miller Paint Company, and a weather-resistant sealant donated by a fellow artist. Gower said she painted the two pieces separately because the project was so large she couldn’t stand on the board without risking damage to the mural. The mural now hangs in the courtyard of the Siskiyou School.

Her art has been exhibited in galleries around town, AHS art shows and recently in Liquid Assets at the First Friday event in March.

Gower starts at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., this fall intending to pursue a double major in Anthropology and Political Science and a minor in art. She was heavily influenced to explore politics during her exchange program in Brussels, Belgium, last year, but will continue to work on her art, Gower said.

— Contact Ashland freelance writer Caitlin Fowlkes at Caitlin.fowlkes@gmail.com.

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