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BHS has a stroke (of paint that is)

By Emily Tratar

Art students have been painting murals around Batavia High School these last few months to bring creativity and positivity to the students day. It was created by a group of students after petitioning for a grant during the PLATE event. (The PLATE event is a fundraising event for art students.)

The grant that won was called “Spread the Kindness”.  Students Courtney Mansour, Morgan Donohue, Kylie Tevonian, and Sophia Plourde put together the idea and petitioned for the grant.

“Their goal was to create positive uplifting messages around the school,” said Dawn Zalkus, NAHS sponsor an art teacher at Batavia High School.

Along with the uplifting messages, Isabel Walker, another art student, is creating a ‘Bird Mural.’ During her independent study, Walker brings this dynamic imagery to life.

“We gave her a quick overview of what our goal was for this space and asked her to think up something fluid and dynamic with washes of color,” said Andrea Schindlbeck, a teacher at Batavia High School. “Then we worked together through several stages of refinements to make sure the final design had a strong structure and interesting details. We are super excited to see the finished piece.”

Staff and students had to take location and appropriateness of the content into consideration to even begin the project. The art students and Dr. JoAnne Smith, principal of Batavia High School, along with the assistant principal Dave Andrews, worked together to find the most traffic-heavy hallways. These murals can be found in the D hallway, the B hallway, across from the library, and in various stairways around Batavia High School. They want the whole school to see the work these students put in.

“It’s the student’s goals,” Smith said. “They really have an interest in making the hallways more attractive, but also the quotes are motivational in nature. So it really brightens people’s days. I’m all for that; it’s great.”  

The art students and teachers also had to find materials that would hold up in a busy hallway. The artists worked with the principal to come up with a finish that would withstand largely trafficked hallways.

The murals have gotten lots of positive feedback from the school population as well.

“I have heard many positive comments from both staff and students,” Zalkus said.  “We have seen students taking pictures with our murals and of our murals.  People are happy to see a more enticing space.”

By the end of the year, these murals are scheduled to be designed or completed.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our students to show their art, not only their artistic ability but also just their willingness to make the school more beautiful,” Smith said.

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