Painting pieces of history

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Keith Russell stands by his pictures of Lewis and Clark, complete with their signatures. He put together the portraits for the fourth-graders who were studying Washington State history.

Keith Russell has been painting since he was just 5 years old.

So when his fourth-grade daughter, Ariel, began studying Washington State history, he wanted to make a contribution.

Russell approached teacher Heidi Echeverio with the idea to paint portraits of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The paintings are now hanging in the fourth-grade hallway at Helen Baller Elementary School.

“I wanted to share my talent and give something back to the community,” he said.

Echeverio called the portraits “incredible” and said she is honored to have them as a permanent fixture of the history program.

“They look fantastic,” she said.

Russell, a Camas resident who works for Tidling Corp in mechanical engineering/drafting design, enjoys creating art in his spare time.

“I really have fun with it,” he said.