Ever notice the taped off area outside the English department and wonder what exactly is beginning to form from the beautiful array of colors? For the first time in over five years, a new mural is being painted on the walls of Darien High School. Senior Isabel Duncan has been given the privilege to express her creativity and give back to our school through her artwork.
Her mural will take on the appearance of a window, allowing students to peer into a foreign land. It will depict landscape with an elephant breaking through concrete blocks. Duncan described the mural as “a sort of visual representation of this idea- a new landscape, one that clearly wouldn’t normally take place inside DHS, breaking through the walls.”
Murals are the perfect way for seniors who are interested in art to leave their fingerprint on the DHS atmosphere. Instead of taking the project home, it remains as a permanent part of the school, a gift from the artist to the DHS community. For years to come, students will be able to admire the murals even when the artist has graduated.
By painting murals seniors can leave a legacy at the school and give back” said art teacher Ms. Katie Stuart.
Not just anyone can paint on the walls of DHS. The privilege is reserved for seniors who have passed the fundamental drawing and painting classes. They must also go through a semester-long process. The first step is to gather ideas for the mural. The piece must embrace the essence of the artist and represent an experience or DHS value. Then the artist must sketch out the mural and make a small painting. The next step involves presenting the idea to the art department and the administration. With permission, the artist can finally begin to paint the mural. Since the project is already in public view, the entire DHS community can watch the creation process.
Students are starting to notice the taped area on the “A” building wall. “When I first saw the tape I wondered what was going on. After seeing Izzy’s draft, I think the final painting is going to look great. I hope more people start to paint the walls because it will make DHS look even better” said junior Katrine Ryan. Unfortunately, painting murals in a public location comes with drawbacks and struggles. Although the contentious students of DHS will not intentionally ruin the artwork, backpacks are bound to brush against the wall.
In response, the artist must adapt to any smudges or marks. In order to preserve the work, signs warning of wet paint will be posted next to the mural. Painting directly on the walls of DHS also has financial and practical benefits. Instead of purchasing expensive canvas, the art department only has to buy paint. Also, it is often difficult and timely to hang large canvas murals on the walls because they are heavy and must be drilled into the wall. By painting into the wall, both money and time are saved.
While DHS has five canvas murals, only one has been painted on the walls. It was created over five years ago by graduate of 2010 Henry Glavin. Located near the cafeteria, it consists of vibrant colors and geometric shapes. Next semester, senior Soyoung Lee will be painting a mural. With more murals showcased on the walls, Ms. Stuart hopes that mural class enrollment will increase. Most importantly, the art department hopes that all students will enjoy the new paintings.
Darien Art Department Blog: http://darienpsart.wordpress.comMs. Stuart's website: www.darienps.org/teachers/KStuart