Student-Designed NEW Mural in High School
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~ Edgar Degas
It started as a High School beautification initiative. At the beginning of the school year, Sayville High School principals and faculty wanted to draw the attention of students away from their ubiquitous cellphones and back to the real world around them. Using artwork designed by fellow students seemed the solution. To make the school walls “inviting,” Assistant Principal Jillian Makris explained, they solicited student designs that would convey images of “optimism and positive messages.” The intention was to restore feelings of good cheer, perhaps even on a subliminal level, within the school community.
Under the guidance of art teacher Jen Berotti, students submitted drawings for review. While there were many worthy submissions to adorn various walls, the large space over the staircase near the school library was granted to High School Senior artist and Secretary of the National Art Honor Society Ava Herrera for her design.
Converting Ava’s original concept to a wall mural became a collaboration with several National Art Honor Society students: NAHS President Deanna McNally, NAHS VP Mackenzie Damon, exchange student from Slovakia Martina Majdakova, and NAHS trustee Michelle Buono. It took three months and many hours of work to convert the drawing into a large wall mural. The result was a lovely, stylized vista of mountains and lakefront, observed from the vantage point of a bicycle path. Designed in a soothing color palette it includes messages of resilience: The beautiful journey of today can only begin if we let go of yesterday, and Keep going, keep growing, calligraphically handwritten by Mackenzie Damon.
While it is often said, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” click on the video interview to hear the students explain the process in their own words: Mural's Creative Journey.