Artistry in the 100s Hallway

Advanced Art Students Paint Spanish Mural


This is the foundation for what the mural will look like once completed. photo used with permission from Ruth Phillips

Noelle Gomez, Staff Writer

Students have often complained about the chalky white walls, the boring tile floors, and the lack of windows as SHS. Art has always been something that students have wished for, and now, they’re in luck. 

Ruth Phillips, an art teacher here at SHS, is excited about her new project that the advanced art students are tackling. The idea is to create a mural near the Spanish classrooms that both captures and informs the viewer of Latin culture, as well as brings some color and personality to SHS.

The students chose to highlight Mexico, Spain, and Colombia with the help of Andrea Oelke, a Spanish teacher here at SHS. Together on a jamboard, they brainstormed ideas of what to include in the mural.

 “Everybody kind of liked the Flamenco dancers,” Phillips says. “They wanted something with Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso. […] We got a bullfighter, and we got the Mariachi band. Natural environment was another choice, [ … and] people chose the Day of the Lady Guadalupe from Mexico, [as well as] the Day of the Dead.”

The process, while seemingly simple, takes an impressive amount of detail and work.

Originally planned to be painted on a singular panel, Phillips changed the process due to COVID. Students will instead use acrylic paint on two different four inch by four inch canvases to create two separate images. Then, as created in Adobe photoshop, the images will be put together like tiles to create one, singular holistic mural. Students get to choose what style and color theory they use.

Helyn Salgado Flores, a junior and an advanced art student, was most interested in doing landscapes. She used lots of shades and colors to create details. 

“I hope that the mural gives a better understanding of the Spanish culture,” Salgado Flores says.

The Art Department hopes to do more murals in the future as well.

“It’s just a good way to get back into painting,” Phillips says. “In the past, the students in Advanced Art had done portraits for refugee children in…Pakistan and Russia, but with everything going on with COVID, […] I decided that we could try something different, [and] learn about a different culture.”