Murals bring fall and winter spirit to campus

Students+paint+a+mural+featuring+a+puppy+with+a+fall-themed+background

Photo by Susanna Tang

Students paint a mural featuring a puppy with a fall-themed background

Susanna Tang

Skiing skeletons, a fall-themed puppy and a spooky viking boat. Public Art Club is working on three murals to hang around campus to spread seasonal cheer this winter.

The first mural is of a viking boat sailing beside a waterfall into a colorful sunset. The second mural features a puppy with a fall-themed background, and the third mural features two skeletons with a winter-themed background. The club aims to finish the first two murals by the beginning of second semester and hang them on the bulletin boards around campus.

“Anytime you put color on the walls in a school, it makes it a fun place to be,” art teacher and Public Art Club adviser Judy Schulze said. “It creates a more positive school climate.”

In past years, the club has done a number of short-term projects, including decorations for the “Beauty and the Beast” musical hosted by Studio 74, paintings on teachers’ windows and a paper crane installation in the library. As the club’s first long-term project of the year, painting murals around campus is a way to make the club’s presence felt in the school community. 

“We thought it would be a good idea to make murals because it lets the members bond with each other,” junior and Public Art Club Vice President Kayla Chen said. “Our club also has a lot of emphasis on the members having fun and de-stressing through art.”

On Wednesdays, the art room at lunch is alive with music and chatter as the club paints the murals, creating a lively and buoyant environment in Room 73.

Public Art Club officers introduced the project to members on Sept. 29 to present the overall plan and inspiration so members could brainstorm compositions. Groups of six to seven members pitched design ideas inspired by example murals and the guiding themes of fall, winter and Lynbrook spirit.

“My partner and I wanted to incorporate the festivities of the season,” sophomore Madison Guan said. “With Halloween coming up at the time we began, and now with Christmas coming up, we wanted to combine those two ideas together and paint skeletons riding a ski lift.”

Final compositions, which were agreed upon within groups, were then sketched onto eight-by-eleven-inch papers. The members used the grid method — making proportionate grids on the sketch and the mural, then copying the drawing onto the mural one grid at a time — to copy the enlarged drawing onto X-Boards, a lightweight and reusable heavy duty floor protection board, with the correct proportions. Lastly, members carefully brushed acrylic paint onto the canvases, bringing out the seasonal spirit of the paintings.

“I absolutely love murals,” Schulze said. “I was teaching at an elementary school for the last 12 years, and we had a muralist come and paint murals on the campus. It’s like it just comes to life. All the schools in the Cupertino district looked the same with cream-colored buildings and blue trim, but when you get those murals on there, it just fosters more creativity.”