State High Art Club Completes Year-Long Effort for New Mural

The completed mural, as seen from under the connecting hallway between pods D and C to the Cafeteria, was completed by the time of this picture being taken on Apr. 14, 2023.

Marek Horgas, Staff Writer

In the past weeks, a mural on the exterior walls in the courtyard has appeared and not unnoticed. This mural has been a long term coming project for State High’s Art Club. Students, for the past year, have been seeking a way to add a more personalized touch to the relatively new school building. 

The mural is meant to represent this year’s school theme, “Unity is Key in 2023.” Some prominent features of the mural are the individual pieces on the short wall, made by Art Club members as well as students taking art classes. Each student was instructed to make something that represented who they are as a person. To tie all of the different elements together, bubbles were used as the common thread.

On the end of the mural, closest to the cafeteria doors, a large pair of purple hands forming a heart are present and were created as a group effort by Art Club officers. Officers include Emily Zhang, Elaina Martin, Elsie Umbel, Saylor Milhomme, Zander Faust, and Tio Ogunranti. 

As mentioned in the artists’ statement, “Not only does a visual representation have the ability to speak volumes, but a mural also allows the entire school community to participate. A mural allows for everybody to come together and work towards a common goal.” 

It was this mindset that gave birth to the original idea of opening up the mural to the student population as a whole. However, as tends to happen when the rubber meets the road, this idea was altered. At the Mental Health Summit in December of 2022, students who participated in the “Creating & Caroling” station were given the operation to decorate a copy of their hand prints that would end up on the mural.

The handprints, just like anything else on the mural, got glued to the wall with wheatpaste similarly to gluing up a poster. The hands are hidden throughout parts of the mural on the short wall in addition to being arranged on the background wall in a looping heart.

Art Club advisor, Maure Irwin-Furmanek made sure to mention how all of this was made possible by the Mardi Lowry McDonough ’87 Student Opportunities Grant Program and hopes that students will enjoy the mural.