Hallways in the previous Smith-Cotton High School were known for the murals painted by art students over the years, but now the “new” SCHS, on Tiger Pride Boulevard, has one of its own, thanks to two art students in Josh Heimsoth’s class.
Heimsoth said Friday the idea stemmed from S-C Principal Wade Norton, who wished to see a mural in the Dr. Harriet Wolfe Media Center.
“He got a hold of us and said ‘hey you should put a mural in the library,’” Heimsoth said. “We talked about it and drew up a basic sketch and went from there.”
Art students and friends Kylee McPhail, a senior, and Rachael Meyer, a junior, painted the park-like mural on the media center’s north wall. The mural was painted around and complementing the existing three-dimensional “Tree of Knowledge” created by State Fair Community College Art Instructor Don Luper.
“We were asked to do a landscape painting, but we got to come up with the idea by ourselves,” Meyer said Friday in the media center. “In the beginning we had trouble agreeing on what we were going to do. So, we stuck our ideas together.”
McPhail said the reason they were picked to create the mural was because Heimsoth thought she and Meyer were doing well in class with painting assignments.
“And we’re both friends,” Meyer added. “So, we just kind of stuck together and chose each other.”
The colorful mural features a park scene with trees, flowers, a fence and a sidewalk.
“We wanted to incorporate a lot of different things,” Meyer said. “It’s all done in an impasto style. Impasto is very expressive paint strokes and it’s also 3-D. So, we did it with Spackle.
“It’s usually done with oil paints,” she added. “This is like a cheaper route to take and it allowed us to cover more area. We just mixed the paint with it and we put it on the wall with palette knives.”
McPhail and Meyer worked on the project from the planning stages in October to completion of the mural in mid-March.
McPhail said she plans to continue her art education in college next year.
“I’ll be attending (the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg) and I’ll be majoring in secondary art education,” she noted.
McPhail added that she enjoys creating all types of art but gravitates toward painting.
“I worked a lot with photography and drawing and painting this year and I’ve done pottery before, but I really like painting,” she said.
After graduation, Meyer will also continue in the art realm also but only in a different vein.
“I’ve been interested in graphic design, but I’m more interested in culinary arts,” she said. “So, I like baking and I want to open my own bakery … I’m planning on going to college at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.”
Both students hope their mural will be one of many to come for S-C.
“I would like for the entire school to be covered in murals,” McPhail said.
“It shows a lot of student involvement,” Meyer added. “It was fun to do, it really helped us both grow and learn how to paint on big spaces.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.