Trinity Lutheran art students working on mural inside school

iece by piece, areas inside Trinity Lutheran High School have been transformed by art students.

The gymnasium has bold blue and yellow stripes along the walls to bring attention to the Seymour school’s colors.

On that same end of the building in the hallway, there is a large painting of a Cougar to symbolize the school’s mascot.

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High up on two parts of the commons are paneled pieces that were painted by students.

Now, on the opposite end of the hallway, a mural is being created as a gateway to the rooms where art and music are created.

Art teacher Carrie Adler is overseeing the work by 33 students in her introduction to two- and three-dimensional art classes and a handful of advanced students.

A framed picture was removed from the beige wall, and Adler taped off a large area and filled it in with yellow paint. Then the students have been using stencils and pencils to draw crosses, art palettes, drama masks and music notes and fill them in with blue paint.

Black and white stripes are being applied around the large piece, and the same colors will be used to stream a quote through the middle: “Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate” by Harvey Fierstein.

The art department’s projects all have been completed in the past three years.

“We really want color,” Adler said. “It’s a high school. It should be fun. It should be exciting. It should show what we’re proud of and who we are.”

Once the gym and Cougar mural were completed, it was time to highlight another important aspect of the school: The arts.

“I want the kids to be proud of what they are choosing to do, to look at that every day and go, ‘Hey, I’m headed to what I love or what my God-given talents are,’” Adler said of the new mural.

Last year, the school received a Community Foundation of Jackson County grant to paint the Cougar mural.

“That was fairly manageable,” Adler said. “We felt pretty confident afterwards.”

Then a memorial gift was given in honor of Joe Hildreth, who died June 24, 2018.

His daughter, Abby, is involved in the arts at Trinity, so Adler chose to tie that into her students’ next big project.

“He really was someone who supported the arts in general,” she said of Joe. “I believe that he strongly felt like it’s important to celebrate and keep the arts, which of course, I’m on board with that.”

There are many other people who support the school’s arts program, Adler said.

“We are so blessed here at Trinity because people do really take note and see what we do, and they support their kids and our efforts in making that happen,” she said.

During the first semester, her students completed paintings, and she took pieces from each one to incorporate in the mural.

“One of them, we’re using the quote from, and one of them had all of the images,” Adler said. “Several of them used blue and yellow as their primary colors. Then the black and white came from somebody else’s. It got piecemealed together.”

The four symbols go from large to small moving toward the center, the quote will run through the middle and the black and white stripes will frame the whole piece.

“I feel like everything needs to be framed. It really does just make artwork look better,” Adler said. “In the effort to maintaining the one hallway consistency, we’ve got the stripes that just sort of flow out like they do down there (at the Cougar mural) but not as intense.”

The quote came from junior Hannah Sabotin’s painting.

“We talked about what makes public art able for the general public to understand, what makes it understandable to them, how do they get what the artist is trying to say,” Adler said. “A lot of times, that means using quotes or using words to sort of do that if the images don’t portray that.”

Adler chose the mural because multiple students could contribute. Since the space can be a little tight with that many students involved, she had some of them break off and paint around the windows at the school office nearby.

“They are all busy, and they all have their part, and they all use their own strengths to make that happen,” she said. “That has been kind of cool to see.”

Freshman Paige Lawrence is in Adler’s three-dimensional art class that has helped with the mural.

She said it has been great to see the project progress.

“It’s just really cool to think of something and make it happen,” Lawrence said.

As other students watch them working on the mural, Lawrence said they can see how the art classes have come together on the project.

“That this is hard work and that there’s a lot of thought put into this, that this is Trinity and we work together,” she said.

Since religion and the arts are big parts of her life, Lawrence is glad to have a hand in creating the artwork.

“All of that is just really important to me, and it’s just really cool to see it all together as one,” she said.

Most of the students working on the piece are freshmen, so Adler said they will spend the next three years walking by it going, “Hey, look what I did.”

She said the next project may be making the commons more cohesive with other artwork that has been completed inside the school.

“Our kids have put their stamp on an awful lot around here lately,” Adler said. “Our students, they only have the art show at the end of the year. That’s the only time people really get to see what they’ve done, so they don’t have a stage that they perform on. This (mural) gets to be their stage.”