• February 21, 2020
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Erin and Sara McCauley work alongside Rachel Radulovich on painting the flat colors. The finished should be displayed at Jason’s Deli by early January.

Leesville’s art depatment has taken on a new challenge. Jason’s Deli in Briar Creek has asked Leesville students to paint a mural on the side of their building that represents their core value: community.

Early in October, Jason’s Deli representatives visited Leesville’s campus and noted the senior wall. Impressed with the painting, they approached Mr. Espinal and asked if he could choose a couple of artists to develop a mural for their business.

Espinal chose Alisha Smith, Rachel Radulovich, Grace McLeod, Erin McCauley and Gabe Romero, all seniors.

The artists started immediately. First, they had to create a sketch of what they wanted to represent in the bigger mural.

Smith, Radulovich, Romero, McLeod and McCauley all collaborated to create the design which features a whole town, complete with buildings, cars and airplanes all made out of sandwiches and other food.

“We were all asked to bring in designs and we just kind of combined them to create the actual sketch,” said McCauley.

“We’re about 60% done right now,” said Romero. He also said that the majority of the hard work is done. Now they just have to outline and touch everything up. According to McCauley, the mural should be displayed outside the Jason’s Deli at Briar creek by early January.

The young artists are not getting paid directly, but they have an unlimited budget for any art supplies they may need and they can get free food from Jason’s Deli when working on the project.

“The free food has been a big motivating factor as far as finishing the project,” said McCauley. Other motivating factors include the support of teachers as they walk in and commend the students on their hard work.

The dimensions of the mural are 12×12 making it a little bit smaller than the senior wall, but with limited time, the painters feel that it has been a much longer task to complete. “It’s definitely not harder, but it’s taking longer since we only have about two hours a day to work on it, as opposed to eight,” said Romero.

Jason’s Deli emphasizes community and wanted to incorporate that into the mural. The only requirement Jason’s Deli gave to the students is for the Raleigh community to be represented. The artists described their sketch as a “giant city made of food.” McCauley had one word to describe the painting–“colorful.”

Romero in particular has grown as an artist through this whole experience. “In the past my paintings have been small projects for myself or friends, but now I feel like my career as an artist is starting to develop because of the opportunities I have received,” said Romero. He is going into AP art next semester; Romero considers art to be a passion of his.

McCauley agrees. “I’ve never worked on such a big project so it’s definitely expanding my technique.”

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