The Red & Black



Unfortunately, not all students have had the opportunity to find their own safe corner of the school.

I longed for the art wing to grow, to somehow seep into every hallway and classroom of the school, carrying with it a desire to create, explore and accept.

Therefore, during one of the first Student Council meetings, when Grace Bermejo, who was taking Senior Honors Art at the time, suggested that we hang up murals in the school to counter widespread anxiety, I didn’t hesitate to jump on board.

By the end of the meeting we had formed a six-person committee and developed The ARTmosphere Project with the goal of bringing the atmosphere of the art wing to the entire school.

From that point on, The ARTmosphere Project was included in each of the Student Council’s weekly agendas.

We discussed funding, safety, mounting the murals and finding a design. We sent emails to the art teachers, the department heads, Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Conway, and Sgt. Perenick.

Ultimately, we decided we wanted as much student involvement as possible, and we asked the student body to draw or paint their own mural designs, which we would then help turn into a full-scale mural.

We planned to pick two designs, and when we received the submissions, while we were impressed by all of them, two stood out.

The first design, which corresponded with the science department, was exactly what we were looking for. It was by Elizabeth Rozmanith, and the design, like her other projects I’d seen around the art room, was interesting and beautifully executed.

The second design, which was created to be mounted in the English department, stepped outside the bounds of our initial plans for the murals. While we had assumed we would paint both murals, this design, by Lauren McDowell and Maddie Hamilton, was an eye-catching composition of photographs.

We quickly agreed that creating a mural of photographs was a challenge that we were willing to face. As a committee, we determined that the two designs represented the creativity of the art department: the ability to be given a prompt and to push its limits in beautiful ways.

For the past month, the committee has been working with Elizabeth, Lauren, Maddie and other WHS students to execute the murals, with the goal of having them up before finals week. In a week full of tests, perhaps these two murals will have just a small impact on the stress at WHS.

I hope they serve to begin spreading an idea that the art department epitomizes: despite the emphasis on grades and testing, ultimately, we learn to be inspired.

We learn so that we have the opportunity to see the world through a lens of knowledge from which we can better create, explore and enjoy the world that we exist in.