When Seminole Ridge High School art teacher Gwenn Seuling told her students that Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was the first school she ever worked at, they decided to make an artistic statement acknowledging the lives lost in last December’s school shooting, and painted a mural in memory of the victims.
Brooke Lazarich, Kayla Vasko and Eddie Walker spearheaded the project, though many of the students in Seuling’s advanced painting and drawing classes lent a hand with the portraits. The mural, painted in oil on canvas, is mounted at the school’s entrance.
Students prepared the canvas and started transferring the portraits in December, shortly after the Newtown shootings. “We worried that it was taking too long, but we didn’t want to rush; we wanted to do the best job we could to honor the lives lost,” Seuling said. “Most of the students working on the mural hadn’t used oil paints before, so everyone took the time to do their best.”
Seuling said the mural is meant as a tribute and that time wasn’t an issue for the end result they desired, which was an accurate depiction of each victim.
“Kayla, Brooke and Eddie prepared materials, coordinated the work and got over 40 other students to work on it and yet maintain a uniform look,” Seuling said. “I cannot express how proud I am of them all, and how wonderful it feels to bring together my past and present schools in such a meaningful way.”
• Hawks Earn WITVA Honors — Several Hawk artists earned honors April 7 in the Women in the Visual Arts annual student art exhibition.
The students and their work are as follows: Cody Cornely’s ink drawing Puppeteer and Laura Louberti’s painting Angel each received certificates of recognition; Rachel Warren received a $50 scholarship award for her painting Remnants of Art, done on a paintbrush; Nori Benjamin earned $100 for her reduction print Zmey, as did Cydney Rallo for her gelatin print Pebble Breeze; Colton Keen’s graphite on gesso Serenity received a $350 scholarship.
• ‘Coffee Talk’ with Freshman Parents — The SRHS guidance department cordially invites the parents of freshman students to join counselors for an open discussion about their child’s education. “Coffee Talk” convenes Wednesday morning, April 24 from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. in the faculty dining room.
On-campus substance abuse counselor Lauren Steele will be the featured presenter. Topics of discussion will include self-esteem, the warning signs of self-destructive behaviors and where to find help, both at school and in the community. Refreshments will be served.
Parents may RSVP to the guidance office at (561) 422-2610 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above: Kayla Vasko and Brooke Lazarich with the mural memorializing the victims.