Scholars Academy students worked together to show their appreciation for the beauty of the their campus by creating mosaic murals that are displayed in the MacIntyre Auditorium lobby.
The murals depict the historic oak tree and the three arches of the Scholars Academy main entrance. The oak tree is a mecca for students, and the three arches represent the more formal main entrance that was recently moved from the entrance at the oak tree. The mural idea was supported and brought to fruition by Scholars Academy Director Jeanene Wallace while the actual project was led by art teachers Ashley Ivey-Jackson and Robin Smith. Ivey-Jackson has taught art for twenty years while Smith has for ten years. All three recognized an opportunity to showcase the iconic views associated with Scholars Academy.
“The architecture of our school buildings is just unparalleled to a modern building,” said Smith.
The mural subjects were divided into a grid with each square, or mosaic tile, having a different medium, such as marker, pen and ink, paint, and crayon.
“We used every medium available to make each board different,” said Smith.
Middle and high school art students in the 2017-18 school year were each assigned a number to design a square to make up the full picture. The students were encouraged to add tiny characters and things that might surprise the viewer and make each square unique.
“When they are all put together it creates one picture that celebrates each student as an individual and as a part of our Scholars team,” said Smith.
“Each person did their part and putting it all together was cool,” said student Cassidy Clark.
A dilemma arose when there were five missing squares. As a result, Ivey-Jackson, Smith, and Smith’s children completed them during the summer so that the murals would be ready to welcome teachers and students in the freshly decorated auditorium lobby. .
The most challenging part of the process was gluing the pieces down. The murals are made up of mat board on plywood encased in glass. In order to facilitate the drying process, books were used to weigh down the individual squares.
“The hardest part was getting my square to match up with the other squares,” said student Sydney Griffith.
“Paying attention to detail when you’re working with other people makes a big difference,” said Ivey-Jackson.