Artists leave their mark on art department walls through the decades

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Ava Hughes

An ever-growing collection of art on the walls of the art building features an “American Gothic”-inspired mural done by former art teacher Jennifer Greene who continues this tradition of WHS artists leaving their own touch on the walls and ceiling tiles.

Walking into the art building you see many different types of paintings, from all different times and that hold all different memories. Some paintings find a way to go together and others are their own individual beauty. The art mural is something so special and is highly appreciated by WHS. 

  Generations of artists have participated in a WHS time-honored tradition by making their marks on the ever-growing mural and student-painted ceiling tiles in the school’s art building. 

   The art mural is a tradition that goes back to the year 2000, when the first painting was put on the wall. Each piece of art displayed in the mural is special in one way or another. 

   Long-time WHS art teacher Randy Bloess (1989-2009) started the tradition and Greene has continued it after his retirement. Both Greene’s father and sister painted on the wall. Bloess painted the rendition “American Gothic” picture at the base of the staircase. Amy Bloess, Greene’s sister, painted the 2000 mural along with many of her other fellow classmates’ help.The tradition isn’t as popular as it was in the past as other art traditions have come around, such as the ceiling tiles in Greene’s classroom that many seniors have the opportunity to paint. Artists are able to leave their mark in the department, creating pieces to be displayed for years to come. 

  ¨It is really neat that the school allows us to paint on the walls and ceiling tiles. I know that some schools do not support the arts as much as Warsaw does,” art teacher Jennifer Greene said. 

    Many of the paintings included in the art mural were done by previous WHS graduates. It is a privilege reserved for Greene’s portfolio students. This year, Greene’s only portfolio student is senior Bradley Brown.

   Deciding what to paint on the art mural is a hard decision, once it’s on the wall it’s there to stay.

“I think it just shows the person who did it and their personality and they’re just here forever,” Brown said. “If I were to paint on the mural, it would probably be something historical.”

   “I like Mrs. Greene letting her portfolio students paint on the wall and it leaves a little trace of them at Warsaw High School,” sophomore Art II Student Bailee Steiner said.