LORAIN — When the class of 2007 at Clearview High School graduates this week, the advanced art students will have left behind a piece of themselves for those who follow.
Art teacher Jean Jensen’s seniors have created a mural that depicts various aspects of their journey through their high school years.
The students christened the mural “The Journey” as they gathered around the work to discuss its symbolism and various elements as part of their final art exam.
The mural represents not only the students’ journey through school but an artistic collaboration they’d not previously experienced.
The 8-foot by 4-foot mural, which hangs in the school’s cafeteria, is painted on clay tiles which the students formed and fired.
Each student was given two blank tiles on which to paint, but the individual tiles had to flow into the adjoining tiles and complement the flow of colors and designs.
“Sometimes it was a struggle,” said art student Ashley Kimmel. “It was the first time I’ve done anything like this. It turned out really good.”
The result is a striking piece of art that
doesn’t look like it was created over the past nine weeks in sections by 15 individuals.
“It symbolizes a lot of things that have gone on over the years,” Jensen said, pointing to the various elements surrounding a painting of the high school — a basketball hoop, a winged foot representing track, a football field, a few whimsical characters, an artist’s palette and a clipper ship, representing the school’s nickname, Clippers.
A “Commitment to Excellence” banner occupies conspicuous placement in the mural, while an impressionistic view of Jensen hovers in the top left corner, appearing to blow the swirling winds over the scene.
A portrait of Principal Dan Parent occupied the upper right corner, symbolizing his oversight of the students and life at Clearview.
Several tiles in a lower corner display an American flag and a set of military dog tags bearing the name Pvt. Renee Griffith, Ashley Kimmel’s mother, who is serving in the Army at Fort Drum, N.Y., awaiting deployment to Iraq in August.
“She’s going to make it home, though, for my graduation. I’m happy for that,” said Kimmel, who plans to study dental assisting and photography.
Kyle Webber, an 18-year-old senior, plans to pursue a career in art, designing video game art. He hopes someday to attend the Pittsburgh Institute of Art.
“It was a really good accomplishment for us to leave as seniors,” Webber said. “It will be here forever.”
Contact Bette Pearce at 329-7148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
bette pearce / chronicle
From left, Michael Hamilton, Kyle Webber and Ashley Kimmel, students in advanced art at Clearview, talk about a mural they created for their senior project.