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Lahaina student travels to Thailand to paint mural

By Staff | Jul 8, 2010

Angel Melody Bode (right) painted the mural at Ambassador Bilingual School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

LAHAINA — Artist Angel Melody Bode recently returned from Thailand, where she painted a mural as a gift to an elementary school.

Before graduating with the Lahainaluna High School Class of 2007, Bode painted two murals at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School (one of West Maui musician Willie K and one of the Mars “Spirit” Rover), a Haleakala mural at Lahaina Intermediate School and one at Lahainaluna High School called “The Messenger.”

Now pursuing an Associate of Arts Degree at the University of Hawaii Maui College, Bode volunteered to travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to paint a mural.

“My friend, Rachel Vacharasoven, was a teacher at the Ambassador Bilingual School, and she set up the project for me and introduced me to the principal of the school, Mrs. Amporn Garmolgomut. They arranged for me to do the mural in the main assembly room of the school,” Bode explained.

At the school, often called ABS Elementary, each class has one instructor who is a native speaker of English and one who is a native speaker of Thai.

The topic of the mural is “Wildlife of the World.” It measures more than 21 feet wide by more than eight feet tall.

“I was in Thailand a month to do this project. I painted usually five days a week to get it all done in time! I was the only person who painted on the mural,” she noted.

“I did the study — a 30-inch by 40-inch painting — on Maui and then drew freehand on the wall, using a photo of the study painting as my guide.”

Bode also enjoyed sightseeing, riding on elephants through the jungle and playing with a tiger and lion cub in Thailand.

She hopes her talent will lead her to other destinations.

“I hope to do many more murals around the world,” she concluded.