Keeping up old traditions

Art students defend legacy


photo by Bailey Fisher

Mix of 2D and 3D art tiles on the ceiling of the art room

Ranging from a semi abstract self-portrait to 3D painings, painted tiles cover the ceiling of the art room as a testament to student achievement and inspiration. Art teacher Mary Marinel allows her students to paint on the tiles of the classroom ceiling their senior year, leaving their legacy behind.

With the emotional attachment that students have for this tradition, it came as a big shock when they found out that the tiles were being taken down.

“According to the Fire Marshal, it’s against fire code to have any kind of paint on the ceiling,” Marinel said. “The fire department wrote us up every year for it, but this year administration was going to enforce taking them down.”

Only after speaking to Principal Mary Williams was Marinel able to convince them to hold off on taking down the ceiling tiles.

“I begged her and told her how passionate students are about the inspirational paintings on there,” Marinel said. “They can’t wait until they’re in the advanced classes to be able to leave a legacy of their artwork.”

Junior Preston Saunders likes to paint outside of school, so the chance to showcase his artwork inside the school is important to him.

“I feel the tiles add color and life to the room, giving it a lively feeling,” said Saunders. “I hope to add a piece that will grab attention but also display an emotion or feeling that is relatable to other students.”

To students, the ceiling artwork are not just paintings, they are them leaving their mark; a mark to show their work and inspire others to be creative and make their own tile when the time comes.

“For the ones that are interested, I really think the paintings help show them what they can become as an artist,” said Saunders.

Current senior art students find the paintings inspire newcomers in that it shows them what potential they have and gives them an idea on how much they will learn throughout their high school career. It shows the newcomers what level they can expect to reach by the time they graduate.

Junior Ross Mills enjoys spending his free time at home creating surreal drawings of things he sees in nature.

Mills was in Marinel’s beginners art class freshman year and enjoyed getting to apply his artistic talents at school.

“When I came in freshman year and saw the tiles, I thought they were pretty cool,” Mills said. “At first I questioned why they were there, but once I found out I seemed to appreciate them more.”

Mills, as well as other students, look forward to leaving some sort of message/legacy behind them before they depart and expect others to follow the same inspiration in years to come.