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Rising Artists: Creativity key for Skyview senior's MasterLube mural and beyond

Jaelee Von Schriltz
Posted at 3:00 PM, May 26, 2024

BILLINGS — MasterLube murals are a perennial sign of springtime in the Magic City, though they’re fairly new to Jaelee Von Schriltz.

"I didn’t really notice them until 2022," the Skyview senior said.

The citywide contest jumped on to her radar this year. She submitted two designs and won the opportunity to leave her mark on Main Street. Then came the tough part: she'd never attempted to paint anything that big.

"Not even close," she admitted. "I was nervous."

You wouldn’t know it. Von Schriltz painted the mural basically solo, of a design well out of her comfort zone.

"I definitely like brighter colors, stuff that really pops," she said, referring to several other works she had brought with her.

Jaelee Von Schriltz MasterLube
Jaelee Von Schriltz poses in front of the mural she designed at the Billings Heights MasterLube, while showing off another piece of work in the foreground.

They are a stark contrast to the giant, somewhat mono-chromatic mural, but it shows perhaps Jaelee’s most important skill: creativity.

"I tend to do somewhat realism," she said. "But with this project, Skyview’s done a lot of realistic Falcon (murals) over the years, so I wanted to switch it up and do a graphic one."

"She’s one of those kids that just has it, and I'd say she had it to begin with," said Skyview art teacher Jenelle Lanphear.

Lanphear would know. Von Schriltz has spent more time in Ms. Lanphear’s art room than any other high school class.

"The majority of my classwork and notes are more doodles than actual writing," Von Schriltz said with a smile.

Jenelle Lanphear
Billings Skyview art teacher Jenelle Lanphear sorts brushes in her classroom while senior Jaelee Von Schriltz works in the background. Lanphear has taught Von Schriltz all four years of high school.

That’s music to the ears of an art teacher.

"When I went here, this was my corner. This is where I felt at home - in the band room and the art room," Lanphear said. "So it was very much a goal of mine to make that come true for my kids too."

"I'm very comfortable around her," Von Schriltz said. "She made me want to be just like her."

The definition of inspiration. Von Schriltz will study art education at the University of Montana next year. After that...

"Right now, I’m pretty set on wanting to teach others," she said.

"I actually didn’t know that until the other day and I almost started crying," Lanphear added. "She's going to carry on what we do here, in the future generations, and I can’t wait to see her classroom someday."

And see who it inspires.

Jaelee Von Schriltz
Jaelee Von Schriltz has spent more time in the art room at Billings Skyview than anywhere else during high school.
Skyview MasterLube mural
Billings Skyview senior Jaelee Von Schriltz designed and painted the 2024 Heights MasterLube mural.