Paint me a mystery

Have you ever noticed the bright colored paintings on the walls around OHS? Have you ever wondered how they got there or who painted them? They are somewhat of a mystery to the majority of students and staff alike. These paintings have accumulated over the years, each with their own unique stories.

For the most part, department heads have decided to brighten up their portion of the school by having students paint scenes on their walls. Take for example the paintings in the foreign language hallway.

The artwork outside Señora Carol Robinson’s room was painted by a student of hers, Chris Pozzo, in 1998.  Robinson and another Spanish teacher at the time, Señora Rodriguez, had been wanting to fill the empty space by the stairwell. Pozzo stayed after school to paint, projected the image’s outline onto the wall to help him. The end result was a scene and quote from “Don Quixote, a novel Spanish IV students read. The quote translates to “The sky’s the limit.”

“I actually ran into Chris a few years back…he asked about the mural,” Robinson said. “He was really excited to hear that it was still there. He was a very talented artist.”

On the opposite wall sits a scene from a French story, “The Little Prince.” It too has a quote beneath it, which reads, “It is more important what you feel in your heart than what you see with your eyes.”

French teacher Madame Keri Wilson took initiative to decorate her own room. Her room has multiple paintings, but the most prominent is a recent addition.

“The mural in the back of the room…was a crazy idea French Club came up with maybe a month before school got out two years ago. Kaitlyn Armstrong (2012) and Sylvia Lin (11) were in charge of the mural part, and others like Becca Haegele (11) and Tara Huffman (11) did the walls. I wanted something bright and cheerful…different from the stereotypical Eiffel Tower or flag. So I chose a picture of one of my favorite places, the Provence region of France. The mural is a scene of the lavender and sunflower fields that you see all over the south of France.”

The mural is unfinished; however, Wilson’s sister is working on finishing it up.

Moving upstairs to the second floor, practically all of the science hallway’s walls are covered in paintings, ranging from the galaxy to dinosaurs. These were made by members of the Science Club over several years.

Student Council also played a part in some of the school’s paintings.

“Some of the murals you see around the building were done by Student Council.  These are the ones around the elevators and outside the library that look similar to bulletin boards.  Student Council wanted areas for students to post flyers so the hallways were not bombarded with flyers,”  art teacher Mr. Thomas Lutz said. “Student Council also decorated some of the restrooms. They tried to keep the boys more sports themed and the girls more floral themed.”

The majority of the artwork, however is a product of OHS art students’ hard work.

“The mural outside 215 of the sporting events was painted by a Painting 2 class in 2005.  This was a class assignment that was designed by the students,” said Lutz. “In Painting 2, students will get two brick spaces to paint a design of their choice as long as it gets approved by the building principal.  We have not had a Painting 2 class for about three years, but we have one this year.  You should see some added squares around 309 come later this semester.”

This artwork is a collection of hard work from OHS students over the years and representation of the talent here. Although students may not always take the time to appreciate these murals, they are the legacies of students who once roamed these halls.