Public Art and Murals Coming to Conard
By: Jennifer Schlichting
The walls of Conard could be described as bland or lifeless, not exactly thought-provoking. The National Art Honor Society has been working on creating murals for this exact purpose, making the school more vibrant. The process of coming up with these murals was long, but not dull. They cooperated with the administration and the teachers who requested these murals. The murals will be in four places around the school: the courtyard, the Latin room, the science department, and the English department. The mural in the courtyard was requested by the administration. They wanted the courtyard to have a calming atmosphere, something that would soothe the abrasive red and yellow. The murals are going to be made up of vines, leaves, organic shapes, and a warm color palette.
The mural in the Latin room was requested by Ms. Kebernich. It will consist of Roman mythology, Roman columns, and mythological creatures. Also, the National Latin Honor Society collaborated with the NAHS club in the brainstorming of the designs for the Latin room. The next mural, which is in the science department, was requested by Ms. Cruz. This mural will consist of atoms, DNA/RNA strands, vines, planets, and possibly the Tim and Moby characters online. The last mural in the English department was requested by Ms. Vranich. It will consist of some of the books that are being read currently in some English classes. These books are Frankenstein, 1984, Macbeth, Scarlet Letter, Handmaid's Tale, and Nickel Boys.
Public art and murals are important; they send important messages in some cases, or they just liven up a space. An example of a mural that showcases an important message is the Women's Empowerment mural in downtown Hartford, as pictured below.
This mural has five important women: Vice President Kamala Harris, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Elle Grasso, the first woman elected as governor of Connecticut and the United States. This mural sends a strong visual message about the important women in the United States and some of the powerful positions they hold. The prominent public artist, Diego Rivera, actively created many pieces of public art around the world for over 50 years at the beginning of the 20th century. For example, he painted at the California School of Fine Arts, the American Stock Exchange Luncheon Club, and the Detroit Institute of the Arts. He was also commissioned to create the mural "Man at the Crossroads" for the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Through his physically large and powerfully narrative images, Rivera created thought-provoking pieces whose messages stand the test of time.
On a simpler level, they added color and engagement to the bland walls of these locations. Hopefully the murals that are being painted in Conard will allow students some contemplative reflection as we rush through the halls on our way to class and brighten up the dreary, institutional atmosphere.
1. Community Renewal Team