Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Hira Qureshi (Germantown High School)
Germantown High School is known for its fine arts department, from the theatre’s phenomenal performances to the art students’ beautiful works. The school has long considered the Arts equal to academics, providing its students many opportunities to work within various art forms.
Germantown High School has allowed its students to have their voice to contribute a verse. It has allowed students to speak their minds, show spirit, and fulfil their artistic passions.
The idea of a mural was constructed in 1976. The school administration believed it would not only brighten the wall of the entrance to the high school’s main building but also give students the opportunity to showcase their artistic abilities to a new level.
The mural was a dedication to the city of Memphis, displaying the city’s persona and became the school’s icon.
However, after being up for 37 years, the school board personnel has decided to modernize it. They feel it has grown dull and lost its touch. They have instructed the art department to assign a group of art students, under the watchful eye of an art teacher, to reconstruct the mural.
The new mural will provide the school with an even better grandeur than the old mural.
As the art teacher supervising the progress, Michel Belknap puts it, “The work on the mural honors the past, celebrates the future, and most importantly respects the present. It speaks to students about the diversity and differences of human experience.”
Not only has the mural provided the school with a relationship between the campus and its facility, but it has also given the art students the opportunity to expand in their artistic abilities.
Many of the student artists said they believe this is the greatest opportunity the school has provided for the art department.
Ellena Aguilar, one of the muralists, gave her thoughts on mural making, “It’s a new experience for all of us to paint a mural—to contribute something to the school.”
Another muralist, Taylor Boulding said, “I like how we are preserving history. We are [literally] leaving a mark.”
The group of muralists feel that they are really a part of something incredible. And it’s apparent in the school’s response.
Many of the Germantown students are ecstatic that their school is redoing the mural. They feel the new mural brings a sense of community to the school.
Junior, Seeta Shah said, “I love how all of Germantown High School comes together and is recreating the mural.”
Senior Lauren Kneeland was excited and said, “The mural is a central point of Germantown High School and it’s great to see the improvements being made on it.”
The new mural has re-enhanced the sense of community and relationship with the campus and its students. It has granted the art department with the opportunity to showcase their students’ abilities.
It has given them the chance to make their mark on their alma mater.