SCAHS Upcoming Art Mural

Ava Bechtel, Staff Writer

Murals encompass many meanings and uses; they often reflect a society, express an identity, and add meaning to a community. These meanings are what the State High Art Club hopes to achieve with its own mural.

Last Spring, Art Club officers constructed a variety of ideas and projects for its members. Inspired by a variety of murals located downtown, officers entertained the idea of adding a mural to State High. Similarly, State High wanted to make its mural wheat paste. This way, if the mural were to be constructed with wheat paste, the mural would be able to withstand the elements, yet not be permanent. This would allow the Art Club to take down the mural in a couple of years and have the opportunity to construct yet another one. 

Unfortunately, being that time was limited and little planning had been put into the project, it never went to fruition. Zander Faust, a member of the Art Club officer team, explains that the mural’s initial planning hadn’t gone smoothly.

“We had hired a mural artist, who had done pieces in downtown State College, to create the layout of the mural so that State High students could then paint it. However, the artist backed out and we were left to do it ourselves,” Faust said. 

Despite the minor setback, the Art Club found an opportunity within this misfortune. This mural could be more personal to the student body. The Art Club generated a theme of Unity in Diversity and aimed the mural to celebrate individuals’ unique backgrounds, heritage, and cultures.  

Emily Zhang, Art Club president, and Art Club director, Maure Irwin-Frumanek, further explain the objective of the mural. 

Zhang said, “Our theme is Unity in Diversity so we are trying to promote diversity throughout our school and have people who come from different backgrounds and cultures to come in and collaborate on this mural and be proud of their identity.”

Irwin-Furmanek adds, “We thought this could be something that will bring people together, but we understand that this isn’t solving any problems, but it is a way for a lot of students to come together and make something that represents their heritage, tradition, or how they perceive unity.”

So after a significant amount of planning, in October 2022, painting began. The mural is similar to a wheat paste mural, which could be described as a specific kind of collage. It consists of a variety of acrylic pieces on thin paper that are pieced together and glued onto the brick using wheat paste.

This allows members to have as much freedom as they’d like as long as it is related to the theme. They could even use bright colors to make the pieces pop against the brick because a unifying element was added over the collage of pieces, making everything come together.

Faust elaborated,” There will be a unifying element of hands in the shape of a heart with the outline of the school in the middle. The hands will be done in shades of purple.”

Once the mural is posted, students will be able to see it when crossing the bridge that leads to the cafeteria. The smaller wall will present the pieces that the students created, and the larger wall behind it will have a big unifying element. It is an expression of harmony and unity that conveys that our differences are what enrich our human interactions.