Community members are installing a mural at Big Picture High School in memory of Kaila Craig, a 19-year-old Durango woman who died in a car crash earlier this summer.
The idea to create a mural stemmed from the fact that Craig was an artist, and her friends wanted to do something that represented her life, said Riley Fenn, a friend of Craig’s.
“Big Picture (High School) is like a big family,” Jessica Reeve, a teacher of Craig’s, wrote in an email to The Durango Herald. “When Kaila passed, it was a huge blow to Big Picture’s student body and staff. We were all devastated, so when one of the students suggested we do a mural in her honor, we all thought it was a wonderful idea.”
Friends worked to design a mural with features that represent Craig, including an eyeball and a naturescape. A friend of Craig said people would call her “sunshine,” so the group also included an image of the sun.
“When I look at the mural, I see the nature Kaila loved being in,” Reeve said. “I see the flowers that represent Kaila’s inner and outer beauty and her love for life. I also see the eye she often drew or painted.”
Friends are installing the mural at Big Picture High School because Craig and her friends spent a lot of time there, said Luna Allison, a friend of Craig’s.
Imagine Innovations, which is owned by the father of one of Craig’s friends, donated supplies.
Reeve remembered Craig as “a fun-loving gal, passionate about astronomy, friends, family, travel and the outdoors.” Allison said day or night, rain, snow or blistering heat, people could ask Craig to join them on an adventure, and she would.
“She was really brave about anything,” Allison said.
Craig died early June 23 on U.S. Highway 160, near the Twin Buttes subdivision. Troopers said she was traveling east, going about 98 mph, when she lost control of her 1996 Subaru station wagon, crossed the centerline and hit an oncoming semitrailer.
Craig stayed active in school, including playing basketball, playing guitar through I Am Music and attending a couple of classes at Fort Lewis College, Reeve said.
She was a freshman at FLC majoring in biochemistry, according to the college.
She is remembered as being a big part of her former school and as being friends with everyone.
“I think she rubbed off on every single person she met,” Allison said.