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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

‘YOU MATTER’ GOES MURAL: Art club gets $150 to paint wellness-themed mural near library entrance

Chloe Kang
Senior Dylan Tran and two other Art Club members paint a black backdrop over a pencil sketch after school Tuesday, April 18, near the Lyceum entrance for the new mental health mural.

Using $150 from the Parent Teacher Student Association [PTSA] to pay for supplies, the Art Club completed Monday, May 1, a mural on the elevator wall near the library entrance.

“I’m really grateful that the PTSA is paying for the mural,” Art Club co-president senior Jacob Merioles said. “For the past murals, we had to take money out of the art department funds which took most of the money Art Club earned from the International Food Fair.”

Merioles said he and about nine others signed up to paint a 20-by-10-foot work dedicated to mental health awareness.

“We want students to feel like they have a place at Sunny Hills,” he said.

The mural features the Lancer school colors of black and gold adorning such images as the sun setting behind a black hill with the words “You Matter” inside as yellow clouds surround the hill.

Merioles suggested the theme to the rest of the Art Club and drafted a small design last summer.

“When I made the very first sketch of the mural, I thought that mental health had been a widely discussed topic the past few years and especially in high school,” he said. 

After about 10 iterations of the design, the co-president shared the final draft with the administration at the end of March, which eventually got approved, Merioles said.

“We want the mural to emphasize that you matter, and that is what the design will say,”  he said. “The [phrase] needed to be simple, effective and applicable to everyone since it was going to permanently be at the Lyceum entrance.”

The mural completed Monday, May 1, features a black hill with the words “You Matter” on it, surrounded by yellow clouds and a sun setting near the foot. (Image taken by Rebekah Kim)

After creating the design, Art Club secretary sophomore Tiffany Che contacted PTSA president Joanne Cho to seek funding for the expected two gallons of paint to complete the project. 

“[The Art Club] really wanted the mural to be about ‘you matter,’ and we supported it because the PTSA has always been about mental health for the kids,” Cho said. 

The PTSA approached Art Club adviser Brian Wall in January to create a mural, when Merioles proposed mental health as the mural’s topic. Wall suggested the use of charcoal and a projector to sketch the design on the wall, as well as using high-quality paint to extend the mural’s longevity.

“I think it’s a super positive thing, and you can never go wrong when it’s positive,” Wall said.

Merioles said the creation of the artwork, including brainstorming designs and painting, rested in the hands of 10 of the 45 Art Club members, and he hopes it will benefit their art ability in the long run.

“It really helps Art Club students know what it’s like to be a leader, being able to lead different students into having different jobs in painting the mural,” the co-president said. 

The planning for the mural did not begin until mid-April because many club members were occupied with other projects.

“If we can’t finish the mural by the end of the year, we will have mural painting sessions that will happen at the start of summer,” he said. 

The Art Club produced a previous mural last November for the Wyland Foundation, where the members participated in a national competition with other schools to paint about protecting marine life.

“[These students] will have pride in something that they left on campus, [something] that will hopefully be there for a long time,” Wall said.

Junior Lara Martinez said the message behind the mural is important and could bring comfort to many students. 

“I think it would be a great addition to Sunny Hills because it lets people who are struggling know that they are not alone,” said Martinez, who often passes by the library during break.

The Art Club continued to work on the mural after school for a few weeks while mixing in some sessions over the weekend in April.

“We can’t paint during school hours since lunch and break [are] way too short for these sessions,” Merioles said. 

The club did not hold a ceremony to reveal the mural after it finished the painting.

“Many students and teachers have already seen the mural, and it would be a hassle to set up a tarp to unveil in the days following the mural’s completion,” the co-president said.

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Dareen Hagekhalil
Dareen Hagekhalil, Staff Reporter
After taking the Journalism 1 course during her junior year, senior Dareen Hagekhalil joins The Accolade as a staff reporter. She hopes to improve her writing and social skills by working with the award-winning team. Previously as a cub reporter, Hagekhalil loved expressing her thoughts on important social issues through opinion pieces and plans to continue expanding on these ideas this year. In her spare time, Hagekhalil can be seen watching sports, napping, talking politics or binging a new TV show.
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