Art club leads repainting of murals

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Serafina Urrutia | Hawkeye Senior Kyra Dahlman works on a mural that adorns the walls of the art hallway.

By Mike Guevarra

The walls of the art hallway that have been adorned by student murals for 23 years are in the journey of being repainted by the newly revived Art Club. At the head of this large scale project is the Art Club’s president, senior Louis Mouton, and Art Club’s supervisor art teacher Tim Cashman.

Over the past couple decades, the vast collection of murals in the art hallway painted by former students have grown old, losing connection to today’s students who walk through the art hallway from class to class.

“Murals have a five- to 10-year life span due to currentness and connection to people,” Cashman said.

Serafina Urrutia | Hawkeye Senior Kyra Dahlman works on a mural that adorns the walls of the art hallway.
Serafina Urrutia | Hawkeye
Senior Kyra Dahlman works on a mural that adorns the walls of the art hallway.

Aside from this, the murals became defaced and tarnished over time, suffering injuries ranging from small writings to large holes in its walls.

“The administration was asking why people were defacing the walls,” Cashman said. From these problems, repainting of the art hallway was strongly considered.

Mouton, one of Cashman’s art students, learned of this along with other art students toward the end of first semester. It was at that time that the idea of reintroducing the MTHS Art Club came into play.

“Art Club was re-invented for the murals,” Mouton explained. From its rise from the grave, Art Club stepped up to face the epic task of repainting the walls of the art hallway.

Working with PTSA and administration around the beginning of second semester, approval was granted and funding for art supplies was kindly funded by the PTSA. From there, Art Club appreciatively got the project off the ground.

“The project began halfway into third quarter, when people got serious,” said Cashman. “They grouped themselves together, and started looking at the walls and seeing what they wanted to do.”

To prepare for painting the walls of the art hallway, the club broke up into collaborative groups and found inspiration of what to put on the walls..

“It’s basically contemporary stuff,” said Mouton. “We’re basically keeping the spirit of the old stuff, but painting murals our generation can connect with.”

Remaking of the murals has gained momentum as it has progressed; with new ideas and talented students joining the Art Club’s ranks as the project continues. And many are attentively committed to the painting of the art hallway.

Just over spring break, a large handful of students came into the hallway almost every day to work on the walls. Cashman described the project as having “its own ebb and flow, and ups and downs.”

Determination and artistic creativity are attributes all of those working in the art hallway have, and continue to grow their skills as they learn from one another and let out inspiration through their painting.

Mouton said to his fellow MTHS peers, “It’s still growing, and is still as much your project as it is mine.”

“In a perfect world we would be done in May, but it might continue to June,” said Cashman.

For both Cashman and Mouton, the new mural’s that are made will be sentimental to them. Mouton, who is graduating this year from MTHS, will be using the murals as his senior project. Cashman has decided to enter retirement soon after the school year ends.

The murals created by Mouton, Cashman, and the rest of Art Club will justly represent this generation, and shall be looked upon and enjoyed by the students of MTHS; past, present, and future.