Audrey Ng and Joanna Nicholson, both AP art students, were approached by Jon Cushing, art teacher, in October with a new project that would put their skills to the test: updating the rotunda mural after it was painted 22 years ago.
“Since Audrey and I are both taking AP studio art for the second time, we thought it would be a great challenge for the two of us this year,” said Joanna Nicholson, senior. After the students agreed to do the project, they spent two months planning out what they would do.
“We had to think of how we wanted to modify the original design, sketch it out, get it approved by Dr. Page, and get materials,” said Audrey Ng, senior.
“During the planning process we figured out that painting the mural over winter break would be the best time to do it, because both of us weren’t busy like we were during school. Plus, no student would be around, so there wouldn’t be any issues with paint dripping on people as they walked by,” said Nicholson. “Plus, the scaffolding and tarps getting in the way during the school day.”
The students knew they could take on the project at hand. “I was confident in my and Audrey’s art abilities to give it a ‘glow up,’” said Nicholson. “I knew we could give the mural the justice it deserved since it’s such a central part of the school.”
There weren’t many changes made to the mural but instead there were many revisions. “Well, actually most of the original design was kept the same, except for we made slight changes to every aspect of the mural,” said Nicholson. Some of the changes that were made were changing the capitol building to the Denver city skyline, changing the flag to be more three dimensional, changing the landscape, and adding Red Rocks.
The mural was started on Dec. 19 and was continually worked on for about 117 hours in total over break. The students didn’t receive community service hours or get paid to do it.
“We wanted to make the mural more colorful and powerful, in order to truly capture the beauty of Colorado,” said Ng. “We also wanted to redo it because we were excited to leave a mark on the school.”
Alex Tornato Sotelo, Photography Editor