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Art Major IV students paint new generation of murals

Gabe Kolodner
Senior Stephanie Fraktman paints a mural of musicians in the art wing on Thursday, March 21.

Painting this year’s wave of murals, Art Major IV students have begun the process of leaving their legacies throughout North’s hallways. 

Whether they were inspired by the beauty of life or tributes to favorite bands, each of the ten new murals reflects their painters’ creativity and journey in the arts. 

“This is the final project in the art major,” said visual arts teacher Sharon Slattery. “They don’t have to do it if they don’t want to,” Slattery added. “It is public and that can make some people uncomfortable, but pretty much everyone does it.” 

Because of its public nature, some students are taking the opportunity to send messages about various subjects. One instance is senior Nika Grusby’s mural on the third floor of a child sitting next to a skeleton in a forest. 

“The idea behind it is a peaceful memento mori, which is a reminder of death. If you think about memento mori it’s usually not a positive thing to think about or to have in art,” said Grusby. “I just wanted to show the beauty of the life cycle and give life meaning through death.”

Meanwhile, other murals are tributes to various entities held close to artists’ hearts. For example, senior Diana Butler is painting a mural of Minecraft flowers located on Main Street. 

“I really liked Minecraft and I feel like everyone played it growing up,” said Butler. “It gives people joy.”

Similarly, senior L Wang’s mural, across from Beals house, showcases a band that is special to her. “It’s from the music video ‘Helena’ by My Chemical Romance, my favorite band of all time,” said Wang. “I just wanted to paint something that I knew I could really execute well.”

According to Slattery, students began their murals earlier than expected to compensate for time lost during the Newton Teacher Association (NTA) strike. Progress on the murals began early in term three rather than near the end of the term. 

“I am beginning them a little bit earlier just to make sure that everybody has time to finish,” Slattery said. 

The tradition of mural painting at North goes back decades. According to Slattery, annual murals were painted even in North’s previous building. 

“They had been doing them since before I came,” said Slattery. “This is my 25th year here, so I was just carrying on the tradition of the old building where we had murals everywhere.” 

Beyond this, students noted that the presence of murals in the hallways adds to a pleasant atmosphere.

“It’s pretty cool,” said sophomore Clayton Song. “They put a lot of work into all four years so it’s nice to see them show off what they’ve learned. It makes the school nicer and it’s like you see a new one whenever you walk to a different part of the school.”

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Eric Lam
Eric Lam, Arts Editor
Gabe Kolodner
Gabe Kolodner, Photo Managing Editor
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