The news murals are being added to the collection of art that has been in process for about two or three years.
“The last mural done by the library was by Francisco Reyes and Ralf de la Torre, both seniors…seniors to do it as their farewell to mesa- usually they are the kids I have had for at least 2 to 3 years,” art teacher and coordinator of the murals, Mrs. Kelli Marchbank stated after being asked about past and future murals.
Marchbank went on to explain the reason behind the murals as “… just always wanting to involve the students in beautifying the campus,” while she also explains it as allowing the students to be “...a part of the creative process,” while “elevating” their ideas and“[being able] to see the drawing of their idea presented on [a] wall.”
The purpose of the newest mural on the library wall, as far as Marchbank and head artist for the mural, Cynthia Diaz, are concerned, is to represent the students of CMHS; not necessarily just the Mesa Mustang mascot.
Marchbank believes in allowing the students of her art classes to come up with creative, original ideas and having them describe their work and why they want to showcase it.
“I like for my kids to shine, I open the door, they get to speak for their art, they should be the advocates for their ideas, and they should be able to articulate what their work is about and what their intention is because in the real world they will need to speak about it. It allows them to be a part of [the entire] process and to feel like they’re leaving their thumbprint on the school and that you can never take away,” says Marchbank.
All of her art students are welcome to participate in the ideas and be “the creators” while “art 2 and 3 students who have experience with painting or the art 1 students who have aptitude” are also usually the students that are most involved.
“It allows them to build self-esteem and find a way for them to express themselves on public wall with permission, instead of writing on walls and getting in trouble for it, because it is very liberating, very powerful.”
Students present their ideas to Dr. D’ Agostino, as well as Mr. Peralta and Mr. Petersen and school wide faculty/council once Mrs. Marchbank approves the ideas. Then they work on them either by themselves or occasionally, when time permits with Mrs. Marchbank after school, on Saturday afternoons, and during tutorial periods.
For now, the main focus of the Art department is the mural on the wall near the library, being the sole creation of passionate artist Cynthia Diaz, with the vision that it will represent the students of Mesa completely with a big trophy in the center, with mustangs as handles, holding green sparks that are shooting out overshadowing the figures of football players, cheerleaders, and other students at CMHS.
She adds, “[Though it] has been mostly me I will have to ask people to help me out. Either those that need community service hours or those that are in art three and are more experienced.”
In the future Diaz hopes to contribute to the Battle of the Ball as well. Diaz is also planning to ask the cheerleaders if she can join in on decorating by drawing the annual competitive chalk drawing depicting the Mesa Mustang beating down on the Estancia eagle.
“We always have the competition… I want to contribute to that since Estancia has been winning,” comments Diaz on the question of future murals she would like to do before graduating.
One thing that is becoming an increasing issue though, is the future of these murals due to the construction that has been going on lately and continues to progress further into the CMHS/CMMS campus. “We’re losing a lot of room to construction.” The mural on the lyceum is coming down because the lyceum will be coming down, but in the future I am trying to be in tandem with principals, administration and district changes as far as permanence of some these murals.” “It is definitely a bigger concern now, [then when my] first mural was done behind my own building.”
Mrs. Marchbank continues by describing the great passion the students have in creating these murals as well as her passion in working with them.
“A big thing with the students is enthusiasm; enthusiasm is always there I love that about our students. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of all of this, I love it, I’m doing what I love, not very many people can say that,” Mrs. Marchbank comments as a closing statement with a satisfied chuckle. And closes with saying to those that would like to contribute, that have art and painting skill, “You don’t have to grow up being an artist to represent yourself on our wall, you just need to represent CMHS.”