Advanced Art Brings Germany to SHS

Once a tile is completed, its placed on its specific spot to form the soon-to-be mural.

photo by ruth phillips

Once a tile is completed, it’s placed on its specific spot to form the soon-to-be mural.

Students in SHS’s Advanced 2D Art class will soon be giving the school a glimpse into Germany through their mosaic-styled German mural. When completed, the mural will showcase the food, architecture, natural environment, and more of what makes up Germany’s culture and landscape through a combination of painted 4-by-4 inch canvas tiles.
Each art student will have two tiles in the mural that each represent both their art technique preferences and their interpretation of a reference photo. Students were able to choose their two photos from a gridded-off collage of German-related pictures made in Adobe Photoshop by the class. SHS art teacher Ruth Phillips allowed her past students this same type of artistic freedom last year during the creation of the Spanish mural, which can now be found hung up at the end of the 1000s hall by the Spanish classrooms. The success of that mural, along with the German one so far, can partly be credited to the perseverance of students and Phillips through obstacles that are involved with this specific mural-making process.
“It’s always a challenge when you have multiple people working on a collaborative piece so that the end product looks unified. Matching things up is hard […] so it’s really a matter of collaboration in class,” Phillps says.
Advanced Art student Shay Sweeney experienced such struggles when she had to transform her digital reference photos to physical art on her canvas tiles.
“The difficult aspects of making the mural for me was the amount of intricate details and having to recreate that on such a small tile,” Sweeney says. “Having to line the tiles up next to each other was very difficult. It took a lot of adjusting to make sure everyone’s lines met.”
Even after setbacks, Sweeney, along with many other students, have completed their tiles and are now waiting to find out more information about the finalization of the mural. It is unclear when and where the mural will eventually be displayed, but Phillips hopes to have it up by second semester and is thinking about having it hung in the 1000s hall.
Regardless of unknown details and some unfinished tiles in the class, Sweeney has faith that once all of the tiles are complete and set in their correct spots by the due date of Jan. 4, the art of everyone will blend together beautifully to make up the mural.
Phillips is also confident in the work of her students and believes the final product of the mural will reach its goals of teaching students and staff more about Germany and “promoting an education of cultural awareness.”