New Mural to Raise Money for Arts Expo Scholarships

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Jocelyn Lear

The art department is planning a new mural that students can add to for a small price.

Arts Expo is showing new colors this year with changes to how the event is run as well as opportunities for students to contribute, specifically in a new mural in the art hallway.

With strips of canvas the size of a brick, students can draw, paint, or use any other art form for only $5. The strips will be permanently adhered to the wall using Nova gel, a mural paste used in Philadelphia and Reading. All content put on the strips must be school appropriate in order to be attached to the wall.

“If people want to buy their own single ones, that’s cool,” art teacher Mr. Dareneau said. “But if students want to team up with their friends buy a couple of them, that’d be cool too!”

Mr. Dareneau hopes students team up to create many strips that will form a bigger picture.

Jocelyn Lear
Partial part of a sample strip, depicting a purple-pink sunset or sunrise painted by Olivia Barrett.

“The original idea right now is to do a straight line across the wall, because if we only sell 50, we don’t want to have this kind of random pattern,” he said. “I envision kind of a wave, I’m excited.”

An idea created by senior Kristin Stauffer, it’s caused by the smaller art department size compared to previous years.

“We cut our art department back, so we don’t have the same number of teachers,” Mr. Dareneau said. “There’s less work because of less classes. There’s no way around that.”

Due to this, they teamed up with the band and Mr. Langdon, something they’ve never done before.

“Traditionally, they’ve never sold tickets, so we won’t either,” he said.

Admission, free this year, has helped pay for scholarships the art department offers. This year, they hope the new mural will.

“We just thought that this is a great way to celebrate the seniors and raise a little bit of money to put back into scholarships,” Mr. Dareneau said.

Traditionally, each art teacher has given a scholarship, while there’s some extra ones given out during Arts Expo.

“We have given ‘Arts Expo’ scholarships based on students who embraced the art department even if they were not a top producer,” he said. “How much we give and how many we give has depended on t-shirt sales and ticket purchases. This year it’s up to t-shirt sales and senior brick sales.”

Jocelyn Lear
A sample strip, showing a speakeasy peephole, painted by Gabrielle Ossman.

With final approval to come from the principals, the mural is set to start selling soon.

“[The principals] did want to see a couple samples just to get an idea of what it looks like,” he said. “Olivia Barrett and Gabby Ossman have done one each so far. Once three more students turn them in I’m going to go back up for final approval.”

Due to changes to the structure and the collaboration with the band, there is so question as to how live performances will work this year. Mr. Crouse, the former advisor for the now-defunct Rock & Roll Club, has handled the performance aspect of Arts Expo for many years.

“In previous years, students applied to perform at the end of March, beginning of April. After applying, students had to send me the lyrics for approval,” Mr. Crouse said. “[The changes] will make it difficult to have individual student performances at the same time.”

While many students look forward to the performances, others look forward to relaxing outside with food. Food trucks, first brought to the event two years ago, are up in the air, as the art department has never orchestrated that.

“It was another group that asked us if they could glum on and we let them,” Mr. Dareneau said. “Last year it got rained out, and the food trucks never showed up. We were disappointed that day, but within 20 minutes no one seemed to really mind. So I don’t know if they’ll be there.”

Arts Expo is set to be May 21, and clubs such as the Accent are already gearing up for it. A celebration of the school and the arts, it has always been an impressive highlight of the year.

Jocelyn Lear
A mural from two years ago was comprised of triangles made by art students to create an interesting gradient around a pillar by the chorus room.
Jocelyn Lear
Last mural, that was made up of triangles from the art classes. The image is of a rising sun, displayed at the staircase by the chorus room.
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