New mural to brighten up school entrance


Allison Little

Teamwork! Deb Dunnell assists sophomore Meleah Lang as she paints. She claimed that she loved working with Altoona students. “The students in these two art classes are great, they’re excited about being part of the mural, and they’re aware it’s a very popular part of the school,” Dunnell said.

Allison Little, Reporter

The new building offers a secure and big entrance for the large capacity of students. However, many students think the colors are bland and don’t portray school spirit. A new mural is being painted to illuminate the main entrance. 

Art teacher Katheryn Curry is working with two classes of students and an art adviser (Deb Dunnell) to create a large mural.

“Mr. Neely contacted me because I teach art for public places, and every semester we do a community project which is typically a big mural. If you’re looking at the auditorium and to the left is a huge white wall and that is where this is going, and it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the school, so he wanted something to go there,” Curry said. 

Before the painting could even commence, a lengthy process had to happen.

“It was a lot of designing and brainstorming which took a large chunk of the spring semester, and each student came up with their own idea based on what Mr. Neely wanted. Then we kind of combined all of those ideas together based on Deb’s guidance and came up with the drawing, then we had to draw it on the canvas before we could even start painting,” Curry said. 

An artist in residency from Southern Allegheny School of Arts (SAMA), Dunnell, agrees that there were highly complex steps that needed to happen before the painting started. 

“Last spring the kids came up with all the ideas that are on it. They wanted to represent sports, the arts and academics and their mascots, and we tried to get in all the sports. If we don’t have a player from that sport, we have equipment like a hockey stick. The main idea of the mural is dream big, and we’re going to have that on the right side in big white letters, and below it we’re going to have dream big in French, German and Spanish because those are the languages that are taught here,” Dunnell said.

The giant mural with a plethora of intricate details and elaborate characteristics has been in the works since last year. 

Students contributing speak highly of the mural and the class. Senior Sloan Condo has been working on the project since the beginning.

“It will set an idea for people walking into the school…I’m glad I get to leave a mark on the school,” Condo said. 

Collaborators are hopeful about the lasting effects the mural will leave on the school.

“Definitely brighten it up for sure since it’s the first thing you see when you walk into the building. I think it’s nice and bright color, and it highlights academics and athletics and arts and different things the school has to offer. I’m excited to brighten up some of the grey hallways we have,” Curry said. 

Dunnell agrees about the impact the mural will have. 

“The maroons and greys are pretty but having colors like green and blues and purples which are the background is really going to make that space feel more alive and welcoming,” Dunnell said.