Painting to Turn Plain to Pretty


Carrie Blum

A part of the science mural outside of rooms 202 and 204 on the second floor of RHS.

Along the walls and throughout the halls of the school there has been an increase in murals and designs ranging from topics such as positive messages to colorful images depicting certain subjects. The Murals and Public Art class has been hard at work these past few years making the hallways of Ross High School more colorful and imaginative. Students who cast glances at the artwork may wonder: What is the meaning of these murals?

RHS’s course description guide describes the Murals and Public Art Class as one in which students will explore the history of public art through brainstorming, sketching, planning, wall-preparation, various painting techniques, critique and revision.

Sarah Baker, an art teacher at RHS and the teacher of the murals class, stated, “While the class is centered around painting murals, the curriculum also includes other public artworks, such as sculpture and installation art.”

As of March 16, there are six completed murals in various areas of the school with three currently in progress. The science mural on the second floor and the “love” mural are two examples of completed murals.

Baker stated, “Murals are designed by students and proposed to the administration for approval. A series of revisions is often necessary before a design is approved and ready to go. Paint colors must be selected, purchased, and organized for inventory. Collaborative work requires students to think of others first and see the bigger picture.” 

Additionally, each mural varies in size, so every project is unique in its planning. Each person roughly works on two murals per quarter and every mural has about six people involved in the process. 

Grace Rivera, a junior enrolled in the murals class at RHS stated, “The result of a finished mural is a rewarding one. They’re cool and interesting and take a lot of time and hard work.“ 

Rivera worked on the science mural upstairs and was a major contributor to the planning and final design of the mural. She explained that she hopes the student body can relate to the murals and connect to the themes portrayed by them as the students walk to their classes.

Baker stated, “The goal of the murals is simply to provide a vibrant and visually appealing atmosphere to the school. Students are encouraged to consider the space and people here and strive to make the artwork fit our school culture in a variety of ways.” 

The murals in the hallways allow students to let their creative passion flow and use their collaborative efforts to make the school brighter and more visually interesting. Baker and her students are planning many more mural projects to liven up the school.