A wall in the stairwell of Capital High School’s basement has been transformed over the last several years thanks to student imagination and effort.
While the project began as a group effort, it was whittled down to one senior who is making sure the work is complete before she receives her diploma.
Mariah Thomas is easy to find, at least during certain times of the day.
“I ended up switching up my schedule at semester,” she said. “So I’ve been working on it two hours, every day. Plus some extra times on lunches and that kind of thing to get it done.”
She regularly attends to the project in order to complete it before graduation.
It all began three years ago as a temporary, large-scale paper drawing, worked on by a group of students. It grew from there.
The original group of students included Mariah, along with Tavia Wine, Brady Oekle, Brittany Woods, McKayla Marshall, Madison Meuer, Emily Hause and DeLaney Heppner.
“We thought up the idea to cut up the pieces and then to trace them out,” explained Heppner. “And then once you got whole piece, you could color it in with pencil, in which it would later be painted on.”
Now Thomas is working to bring the group effort to completion.
“At times, looking at it and being like, ‘Wow, there’s so much left to do.’ But at this point, looking at it, it’s like, ‘Wow, there’s not a lot left,’ which is so cool to get to that point,” she said.
For teacher and project coordinator Genevieve Anderson, it’s more than a beautification project.
She said it’s shown students anyone can be an artist and even the tasks that seem overwhelming can be completed.
“You take something that’s really big, that’s maybe overwhelming that you might need to do now, maybe it’s something you might need to do in the future, and you break it down in to pieces and parts and if you stick with it, do a little bit here, a little bit there, suddenly you have this amazing thing in the end,” said Mrs. Anderson.
The students agreed that beyond the act of creating art, it’s given them something more.
“It’s a good thing to do when you’re stressed out or just to calm yourself down,” said Heppner. “Even to get together as a group of friends and have fun, whether it’s painting or drawing or something like that.”
And not just for them. Other students are drawn to the corridor and the project too.
“Throughout the year, there have been different kids who trickle in, there’s a group of like six or seven kids who come in every morning and hang out and talks, that kind of thing while I’m painting. That’s just been really cool to see how kids from all different backgrounds are all united by art,” said Thomas.
The mural is part of the Capital High School Beautification Project, which gives any student the opportunity to improve the campus through art.
-Reported by Melissa Jensen/MTN News