Hamilton students combine for high school wall mural celebrating authors

A student mural project has proven popular and uplifting for students in Hamilton High School. The mural, which features famous authors, was created by more than a dozen students in the school's public art class. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
A student mural project has proven popular and uplifting for students in Hamilton High School. The mural, which features famous authors, was created by more than a dozen students in the school's public art class. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

The coronavirus pandemic has led many to spruce up their homes where they find themselves spending more time inside.

And for more than a dozen students at Hamilton High School, this most unusual school year seemed a good time to brighten up a well-traveled stairwell with mural art celebrating famous authors.

It’s part of the school’s public art class project and the student-made mural has helped lift the spirits in the high school during the uncertainties brought on by coronavirus, said Paul Loehel, visual arts teacher for the high school.

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“They take ownership for every part of the mural making process. They prepared the wall first by priming it, measuring it and then drawing everything out,” said Loehel.

This is the second year for the public art class, he said. Earlier students produced an outdoor mural in the school’s courtyard area with a theme of diversity and inclusion in honor of special needs students.

The theme of noted authors was recently suggested by the school’s English department and now what was once a dull wall of single color has been transformed into a artistic tribute to some of the world’s most famous writers.

“Before it was just a wall,” said junior Brianna Tamas of the 20-foot long by 10-foot high mural she helped to design and paint.

“It was very fun and a lot of people worked on it. Multiple people work on it at one time,” said Tamas.

“When we were working on a new project a lot of students got to see it while we were working on it and we were making progress,” she said.

Loehel said the mural has boosted morale.

“It’s been huge in a year where everything has been sort of watered down. Students are working hands on with something that has an immediate and huge impact,” he said.

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