We all know and love this year’s senior wall that Carson Rainey, AP art student and president of National Art Honors Society, designed and was brought to life by the other AP art students at the beginning of the school year. The colorful lion has been a symbol for this years senior class as a way to display their uniqueness. The wall stands out as one of the best things about Leesville.
Since the senior wall tradition began in 2007, the designs have increased in creativity and design, continuously topping the prior year. The senior wall gained the admiration of the students and faculty here at Leesville. Countless students can be found taking pictures in front of the eye- catching wall. Everyone will be sad to watch it be painted over when it came time to repaint the wall for the rising senior class.
Much like the wall, the senior class gift has also been a tradition at Leesville for many years. The gift is supposed to be something that benefits the school and leaves behind their footprint. What better way to make their mark on the school than by painting the “LEGEN17ARY” lion onto the stage wall in the cafeteria where everyone at Leesville can enjoy it for years to come.
“Dr. Mutillo had asked us at the beginning of the year if we could [paint the mural on the cafeteria wall], but we decided a few months ago that it would be our senior gift,” said Annika Bardaxis, AP art students who helped with the production of both the senior wall and the mural.
The production of the mural in the cafeteria is very similar to how the senior wall was created. The AP art students started out by projecting the design onto the stage wall and tracing its outline in white paint. They next chose what color each shape would be and marked the shape with an “x” in the color that they were supposed to fill in the area with. After they finished laying out the design, they went in and filled in the colors until the mural was finished.
The once boring, cement, green wall is now filled with the bright and colorful mural replica of the senior wall. The only differences between the senior wall and the new mural in the cafeteria is that the cafeteria’s mural is slightly larger than the wall and the mural also doesn’t have “LEGEN17ARY” painted on the side of it. To fix the proportion problem, the art students chose to extend the mural down and have the shapes blending into the wall rather than cutting the image off.
It seems to be that the color is everyone’s favorite part about the mural. “I love how much color it uses because there’s a lot of blue and green [around Leesville], so I think that incorporating a lot of color really opens up the space,” said Bardaxis.
While the original senior wall only had a few seniors working on it, all of the AP art students have been involved in the production of the mural during their fourth period class. AP art is a senior-only class, so for the past week Robert Patterson, Art III, IV, and AP teacher, has been bringing his fourth period class down to the cafeteria in order to complete the mural.
You would think that the hardest part about the mural would be painting something so detailed on a such a large space. However, it wasn’t as challenging as you might think for the AP students. Bardaxis said,“Honestly, [the hardest part about creating the mural was] just the fact that we wanted to have a lot of people work on it but there wasn’t that much room for us all to be on ladders painting.”
After four periods of planning and painting, the mural of the senior wall was completed. Like the wall, it’s attention grabbing and brings the cafeteria to life. Students and staff around Leesville were thrilled that the intricate design was moved to the cafeteria where people will still be able to view it long after the wall is painted over for the next senior class.
So, thank you to the AP art students and seniors for the gift that you left behind for Leesville. It will be cherished by the students and staff for many years to come.