Over the summer the NAHS, or National Art Honor Society, got together on multiple occasions and painted a section of the Legendary Artist Mural Passage Project put on by the Clinton County Arts Council.
Multiple schools from around the area got to choose an artist and paint a section reflecting that artists style or recreating one of their pieces. Ovid-Elsie’s section was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, the artist was chosen by the officers of NAHS. The mural itself was based off a painting by Junior Jordan Hitchens that received the most votes from the club.
“I did not expect it,” Hitchens said, “I thought the other ones were better honestly, but I was super excited to know that something I created was going to become an actual mural.”
Members from the group had multiple days where they were able to go and help sketch the mural out or paint in the areas that were sketched out and ready. But the process was anything but smooth.
“The humidity was terrible,” Said senior Jordan Nethaway, “That pushed back our painting days because the walls were sweating.”
Not only did the artists have problems with the high humidity in the middle of July but they also had to navigate the sheer size of the mural they were working with. The mural is eight feet wide and 10 feet tall.
“I’ve never done a painting this large before,” said junior Mary Sopocy, “I’ve done the large canvases for school but nothing this big.” Ladders and stand offs were used to paint the upper portion of the mural while other student touched up details on the bottom.
“Working with such a large surface was definitely a challenge,” Hitchens said, “but it was fun, and brought NAHS together.” Even with setbacks like humidity and lack of height the mural was still finished before many of the others.
“Our teamwork made it go a lot faster,” Sopocy said, “We got done soon because everyone worked together so good.” The group of girls supervised by art teacher Laura Weber, spent hours at a time working on the mural while also sharing music they like with each other and stories about school and summer activities. About a month after the unveiling of the mural project in St. Johns a person or people vandalised multiple sections of artwork with black spray paint. One of the sections of the affected murals being Ovid Elsie’s portion.
“It’s very disrespectful.” Said Nethaway. Local authorities are still looking for the parties responsible for the vandalism.
Despite the defacing of the mural the feedback from the surrounding community was great and many people still comment on the hard work it took to make an old underpass a piece of local art.