Senior Olivia Dyer touches up her colorful mural of an old-fashioned milkshake in preparation for the Eagle Pride Diner’s opening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at Ellsworth High School. PHOTO BY YAGMUR GUNEL-BRIGGS

Fun, ’50s-style

ELLSWORTH — Have a hankering for a milkshake and hamburger? Head on over then next Thursday, May 16, to Ellsworth High School, where freshly painted murals hark back to the ’50s and carefree days of slurping root beer floats at soda fountains.

From 5 to 7 p.m., the community is invited to stop by for a burger and shake at the high school cafeteria, which has been transformed into the Eagle Pride Diner thanks to the artistry and vision of senior Olivia Dyer. EHS students will play ’50s-era music.

A student in the high school’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy, Dyer heard the call for brightening the school cafeteria and began conferring with the staff about possible artwork to enliven the space. The concept of a ’50s-style diner emerged from those conversations.

During her junior year, Dyer worked with her art teachers, Leah Olson and Shannon Westphal, to plan all aspects of the the project from identifying iconic, visual elements — like an old-fashioned milkshake — to how gallons of paint were required to paint the murals.

Dyer enjoyed the creative challenge and getting to know and collaborating closely with the kitchen and janitorial staff. Even after she spilled “an endless tub of paint on the floor,” made off with their ladders and peppered them with strange requests daily.

“This project has just been really cool for me because I have been able to connect with so many people over it, and so many people have gotten involved in my project,” she said. “My grandparents have helped me get a better picture for what the ’50s looked like, as have the kitchen and janitorial staffs at school.”

Admission is free to the Eagle Pride Diner celebration on May 16, but donations are welcome. All proceeds will benefit the acquisition of a jukebox for the space. To get a head count, Dyer asks people to RSVP by searching “Eagle Pride Diner Opening” on Facebook and clicking “going” or by emailing her at [email protected]

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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